Data validation

For NETSTOCK / Sage Inventory Advisor to display accurate information, data is extracted from your ERP system via data files. Like any system, the quality of the output is dependant on the quality and accuracy of the imported data.

The following data drives the app:

Data file Containing
Locations Physical stocking locations (warehouses and branches)
Suppliers Active vendors
Product master Basic product information
Stock by location The current stock position by location
Custom groups Codes and descriptions for custom data
Sales & issues Sales and issues summarised by month (or the equivalent transactional data)
Outstanding purchase orders Outstanding purchase / production order lines
Outstanding customer orders Outstanding customer order lines
Outstanding transfers Outstanding transfer lines
Completed purchase orders Completed purchase order lines and receipts
Meta data (‘trigger’ file) Information about the interface and data extraction
Bill of materials The relationship between finished goods and raw materials
Supersessions Product linkages where a product(s) has been replaced by a new product


What to validate?

It is important to validate the data in the app matches your ERP, both at a global/macro level and at individual item level.

The following sections:

  • Tell you how to navigate to the relevant screens within the app in order to validate the data

  • Give you suggestions for the types of data validation you should perform


Global/macro level validation

The purpose of global validation is to ensure that we are looking at data of the right order of magnitude. Numbers that are very different to what you are expecting may indicate something is wrong with the data or we are pulling data from the wrong fields in the files mentioned above.

Stock value (at cost) by location

  • Click on the Locations tab

  • Scroll down until you see the table of locations

  • Click on the Stock holding heading to sort locations in descending order of stock value

  • Validate that the product count and stock holding (valued at cost) appear correct for your key warehouses

Note: the locations table can be downloaded using the “CSV download” button

Cost of sales value by location

  • Click on the Forecasts drop-down

  • Click on Stock holding to sort the locations by stock value

  • Select a key selling location/warehouse

  • Ensure that Cost price is selected in the Summary panel

  • Hover over the blue (sales history) line to see the sales value at cost for a month

  • Hover over the blue bars (sales history for 12 months) in the Comparison panel to validate the total annual sales at cost

Note: the annual numbers are rolling 12 month periods from today backwards


Line item validation

The global/macro validation may have found some issues or may be “in the ball park”. Now you should validate a sample of individual items to either find the errors the global/macro validation hinted at or to ensure that the data at this level is accurate and complete.

We recommend selecting a cross-section of items, possibly 2 or 3 from each category below, that should highlight any data issues:

  • Based on sales movement: fast moving, slow moving, sporadic or intermittent

  • Based on your stocking policy: make-to-stock, make-to-order, indent, non-stocked, obsolete/do not reorder

  • Based on manufacture: finished goods, raw materials

  • Based on experience: your favourite item, your “biggest anomaly” item

For each chosen item, find the item using the Enquiry/Inquiry link – by typing in both the product code (or description) and selecting the location.

Data to validate

The “Details” panel

  • Average Cost

  • Selling Price

  • Volume (if used)

  • Weight (if used)

  • Stock on Hand

  • Unit of Measure

  • Stocking indicator; should the item be stocked, non-stocked or obsolete

  • The preferred supplier

  • Group/dimension information

The “Safety Stock” panel

  • Lead time (if maintained in your ERP)

The “Tabs” (bottom of the page)

  • Forecast; unit sales by month

  • Purchase orders; the details of the open and overdue purchase order lines

  • Customer orders; the details of the open and overdue customer order lines

  • BOM; click the “Line” option to view the entire bill structure relating to the item, validate the linkages and ratios by hovering over the lines


Data Purity Validation

Data purity is an indication of the quality of the data in your ERP. To view the data purity functionality:

  • Navigate to the Dashboard for a key warehouse/location

  • Scroll down to the Data Purity panel (bottom right of the page)

  • Click on the overall score percentage to view the data purity dashboard, which displays

    • The checks that have been performed for each file

    • The count of items with errors, if any, allowing drill-through to listings

The following errors are the most important ones to fix initially:

  • Stock data

    • Cost price <= 0

    • On hand < 0

    • No Lead Time

    • No supplier assigned

  • Bill of materials; looping BOM definitions

  • Customer orders; overdue Customer Orders

  • Purchase orders; overdue Purchase Orders