At Robert Bosch GmbH, Master Data Management (MDM) is an important corporate function to ensure that master data about customers, suppliers, products and other subject areas is available to business processes in adequate quality. The knowledge required for efficient MDM and usage of master data includes for example responsibilities, data models, KPI definitions and data lineage and is widely distributed across divisions, countries, employees and IT applications. As this situation implies significant operational and strategic challenges to both MDM and business processes, Bosch needed to gather and consolidate all relevant information about MDM in a central location providing a single source of truth: the Master Data Information Portal. The portal’s basic idea is to leverage existing information (assets) and complement them with an integrating, corporate view on master data and MDM. Thus, the Master Data Information Portal results as a consistent and comprehensive view on master data.
In 2015, in cooperation with CDQ’s division of the Business Engineering Institute St. Gallen AG (CDQ/BEI), the Fraunhofer IML supported Bosch from the initial requirements analysis to the technical implementation. A conceptual design resulted from the requirements analysis that was based on a series of interviews with different stakeholders covering relevant business functions, organizational levels and roles. A prototype was implemented based on an agile approach and populated with initial content (responsibilities, data models, KPIs, etc.) and connected to the Bosch Social Media Platform. At all times, end users of the portal at Bosch have been closely involved in the development to ensure user-friendliness and the purpose fit of the Master Data Information Portal.
Within the scope of the global rollout across the Bosch group in 2016, the Fraunhofer IML and CDQ/BEI accompanied Bosch during the transformation of the prototype to productive operation. Therefore, more than 100 global master data classes and applications had to be added to the portal. The rollout was coordinated by the Central Coordination MDM, supported by Master Data and Application Owners as well as the Corporate IT. Before the rollout realization, a rollout process was defined and the master data classes and applications have been classified into three rollout phases depending on complexity. Furthermore, quality requirements have been defined for all information to be imported into the portal.
To ensure user-friendliness and suitability of the portal for various stakeholders, the Fraunhofer IML and CDQ/BEI supported in conducting an initial user training and a couple of user tests at the end of the three rollout clusters. In addition, the researchers designed and implemented a software tool to enable Bosch to import up-to-date data from source systems to the portal during productive operation.