One of the things we all learn as consultants is to manage data. If it is not the first, it is probably the second activity we do when we start working in this fantastic world. If you are here because you are new, WELCOME! This guide will help you understand why Data Management is important and why this could be a really interesting solution for your toolbox. It may not be the most user-friendly functionality to use but is definitely a life-changer.
Why Data Management?
The biggest reason behind this functionality is the simplicity of how we can use and upload information in a pretty simple way. The platform will provide you with templates and based on them you can add the information from your customer and then load it into your system.
Pros and Cons
Let's face it, it's important not to romanticize D365 HR. I do that a lot, but in this case, I'm quite critical of what is good and what is not. I'll share with you a simple guide for you to know upfront.
Managing data: Ability to manage and upload all master data and some of the transactional data in a couple of clicks.
Te mess before us: Usually the customer has a legacy HCM system and there are a lot of Data cleansing activities to perform.
Good for nerds: Nice for Consultants or HR Pros who are capable of getting a bit more technical and want to solve easily this phase of the project.
Learning: The learning curve of the module, exporting templates, cleaning data, the format of dates and text and so on, it is quite long, mostly for not techy folks.
All for it: Luckily almost all modules and processes have a template that you can easily upload into the system.
Errors and more: Difficult to understand the execution log and how to change or update them in an easy and simple way.
In and out: Import and export data from the system through simple templates. By importing you are bringing information to the system, and the other way around for exporting.
Beware of duplicates: Sometimes is difficult to not duplicate information or records. Data cleansing is one of the most important phases of any implementation project.
Data Management components
Before jumping into the actual process, let's dive into the components. I'm going to be focusing on Import projects.
Name of the project: I always use the name of the entity + the date in US format, that's who I am. I like it this way because if I need to go back and check the execution log or anything else, I know which project to refer to.
Description of the project: I tend to use the same as the name, but you can be as creative as you want-
Select entities: Here is where the fun starts, you can add the entities you want to use for this project. What you are seeing in the current screenshot is a simple project with only one entity. You can select as many as you want, in the correct order, but that's a conversation for another time. Keep in mind that after selecting the entity you will need to add the template in Excel or CSV. That's what's loaded into the system and you are able to do the mapping from the combination between the entity and the template uploaded.
Entity: Once you select add file and the template is updated, you are able to perform some activities. Have a look at this list below:
View map: mapping between file and entity.
Sequence: when you use more than 1 entity is important to add the sequence.
Source data format: almost always is Excel
Application module: for us HR geeks, it will always be Human Resources or Organization Administration.
This is a reduced and simplified way of looking at Importing projects, there are much more components to cover, let's keep being basic for now.
The process: run an import project
Once you completed all steps below, the fun part comes. We are able to run the project and review the execution log and make sure everything is successfully uploaded into the system,
After uploading the file and selecting Run project, this will be the page that will appear and you can refresh and follow up on the project. Refresh will be your new best friend.
Let's have a closer look at a successful load and one that is not that good.
The good one
As you can see below there's a tick ✔️ and this is always good - unless is the double tick from WhatsApp when you are expecting a reply. This means that the project has run successfully and the information you wanted to upload is already part of the system.
The crappy one
This one is the tricky one ❌, I personally find it a bit overwhelming and it's easy to get frustrated. My suggestion is just to breathe and relax. Luckily you will find the execution log and why is not working. Have a look at the second screenshot.
Entities and more
Sometimes before starting a project is good to check the entities available, this is important because instead of going completely mental and trying to find what you'll need to use you can just check it.
To check the entity list go to System Administration>Data Management>Data entities.
Once you are there, scroll and enjoy the view: