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Mastering Data Accuracy: Innovations in Duplication Detection

Duplicate detection in customer and supplier master data

As a data scientist, I am excited to share the story of our recent duplicate detection project, where we explore the field of Customer and Vendor master data. Data deduplication, a vital process in data management, involves the identification and elimination of duplicate records to ensure data accuracy, consistency, reliability and literacy. You can find out more about data literacy in the article „Why data literacy is essential for your company “.

In this blog, I will walk you through our project, powered by an artificial intelligence (AI) solution, which helped us unravel the true potential of master data deduplication.

Why is data deduplication important?

In today’s fast-paced and data-driven world, organisations face a formidable challenge – the management of vast amounts of master data. Whether it’s customer records, vendor information, or employee details, maintaining accurate and reliable master data is crucial for businesses to thrive. However, duplicate records often creep into databases due to data entry errors, varied data sources, and data migrations. As the volume of master data continues to grow, traditional manual deduplication methods prove inadequate and time-consuming. This is where the motivation for creating an AI data deduplication solution for master data arises.

The introduction of SAP S/4HANA led to the revolutionary Business Partner concept, offering a unified representation of business entities across different applications. As organisations migrate to this concept, data deduplication assumes paramount importance. The migration process provides a unique opportunity to cleanse and harmonize data, ensuring a seamless transition to the Business Partner model. Deduplication during this phase not only enhances data integrity but also aligns the data structure with the organisation’s specific business requirements.

The workflow structure

The workflow of this AI solution consists of several key parts, each contributing to the seamless identification and elimination of duplicate customer and vendor master data.

  1. Extracting Customer and Vendor Master Data

The process begins with extracting customer and vendor master data from the system. This involves pulling information from various sources, such as databases and CRM systems and consolidating it into a single database file.

  1. Data Analysis

The AI solution engages in data analysis, delving deep into the data to identify patterns, distributions, and potential duplicates. This insightful analysis helps the data science team to understand the nuances of the data, ensuring comprehensive and accurate deduplication and prepare for the upcoming deduplication process.

  1. Preprocessing of Input Data

Data preprocessing is a crucial step that ensures data consistency and uniformity. During this phase, the AI solution cleanses the data, handles unusual data, and standardizes formats. By preparing the input data meticulously, the AI system lays the groundwork for accurate and reliable deduplication.

  1. Creating input features for Machine Learning Models

When the data analysis is complete, the AI solution proceeds to pinpoint duplicates in the original data. This step involves a comparison of records, using similarity scores to rank potential duplicates by confidence level. The result is a comprehensive numerical matrix, ready for further prediction.

  1. Prediction based on Machine Learning Models

The heart of the AI system lies in its advanced machine learning models. Leveraging state-of-the-art algorithms, the system harnesses the power of predictive analytics to identify potential duplicate records. These machine learning models are trained to detect even subtle similarities and discrepancies, allowing for precise deduplication.

  1. Presenting obtained results

The AI solution doesn’t stop at deduplication. It goes a step further and actively involves the user in the process. The results are presented in a way that you can understand the deduplication outcomes and make informed decisions based on the data information.

  1. Validation and Human Oversight

Although the AI solution performs automated deduplication, it is essential to involve human oversight for validation. Data stewards or data management teams review the deduplicated records to ensure the AI’s accuracy. This step adds a layer of assurance and fine-tunes the deduplication results.

Which benefits does this project provide to you?

  1. Improving Data Quality -for example before the S/4HANA migration

The Deduplication AI Solution ensures data integrity during the critical migration into S/4HANA. By eliminating duplicates, it improves consistency of the data, enabling confident decision-making and business success.

  1. Reducing Time for Duplicates Search

Using machine learning algorithms, the AI Solution streamlines duplicates search, saving time and effort. Automation optimizes resource allocation, focusing on strategic initiatives.

  1. Automation of the Deduplication Process

The AI Solution fully automates deduplication from data analysis to obtaining the result list with duplicates, minimizing human errors and enhancing data accuracy.

  1. Giving Insights for the Data Owners

With advanced analytics, the AI Solution empowers data owners with information, aiding data-driven actions and informed decision-making.

Conclusion of the "Master data cleansing" project

In conclusion, the “Master data cleansing” project stands as a testament to the transformative power of AI in data management. By tackling the challenge of duplicates in master data, the project opens new possibilities for accurate analytics, improving data quality before migration into a new system, enhanced decision-making, and optimized operations, all contributing to the organisation’s success in a data-centric world.

What's your use case?

  • Would you like to know how artificial intelligence can help solve a specific problem in your company?
  • Would you like to automate time-consuming processes?
  • Are you interested in forecasts to simplify your planning?
Contact us, we will be happy to support you!

For managing your material master data in your ERP system (SAP S/4HANA or SAP ECC), we offer you the “Material Master Data Cockpit” as an SAP add-on. The SAP Material Master Data Cockpit is a powerful tool for analyzing master data, both for a specific material and for the entire material master. This user-friendly SAP ERP add-on provides you with a very fast, detailed, and up-to-date overview of any material (or a list of materials) in your SAP ERP system:


SAP Material Master Data Cockpit

We would be happy to show you all the functions of the standard version of our SAP Material Master Data Cockpit using a live system demo and answer your questions.

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About the author
Ihor Hetman
Ihor Hetman
I am Ihor Hetman and I am currently studying Data Science and Artificial Intelligence in Saarland University and I work as a working student at PIKON Deutschland AG. My tasks include both applying Machine Learning algorithms and creating data-driven solutions.

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The Material Master Data Cockpit for SAP is an SAP ERP Add-On that provides you with a fast, detailed, and up-to-date overview of any material in your SAP ERP system.