Business Partner Master Data

Customers and Vendors: the crucial master data domain in any successful business

The business partner domain covers customer, supplier, and vendor data crucial for operations. It's central to all business processes—dealing with clients, sourcing supplies, and nurturing customer relations. Well-managed business partner domain streamlines operations, enhances customer connections, strengthens supply chains, and fuels growth. Master the dynamics of your business partner master data to give your organization a competitive edge.

Why is business partner master data domain so important?

Central role in daily operations

Nearly every business process involves entities encompassed in the business partner domain, such as client dealings, supply sourcing, and customer relations. Efficient management of customers, vendors and suppliers streamlines operations, enhances customer relationships, strengthens supply chain functions, and drives overall growth.


Learn more about the impact

Know Your Business Partner
Effective management of business partner data is essential for assessing potential partners beyond quality and regulatory requirements. It helps to identify business partners who don't comply with laws and regulations, and therefore to avoid financial and reputational risks associated with partnering with non-compliant entities..

Navigate compliant business partnerships


Unified view for decision-making

Managing master data in the business partner domain enables companies to consolidate all relevant data and to gain a deep understanding of connections with customers, suppliers, and partners. Holistic view enhances decision-making and customer service quality, plus gives businesses an edge during negotiations or agreement renewals.

Discover CDQ Suite for Business Partners


Who is my business partner?

Business Partner Master Data Management

Many questions arise regarding precise definition of a business partner. While SAP environment provides a clear data structure, the concept of a business partner itself may pose difficulties for organizations,  particularly when it comes to understanding what qualifies it as a customer. This  crucial question (e.g. sales reporting can exhibit significant variations depending on the chosen definition) unravels complexities within the realm of business partner data management. 

What is a Customer?

The definition of a business partner is often unclear, especially when it comes to defining what qualifies it as a customer.

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Let's explore several factors to consider when defining a customer distinctly...


Branch Location or Legal Entity

Should the customer be associated with the branch location where the transaction occurs, or would it be more appropriate to link them directly to the corresponding legal entity?

Domestic Ultimate Parent or Global Parent

Is the customer the domestic ultimate parent of the legal entity involved in the transaction, or perhaps the global parent overseeing all activities of the organization?

Commercial Ultimate


In some organizations, customer is considered the "commercial ultimate," which refers to the entity responsible for making active business decisions. An approach developed at CDQ takes decision-making authority into account.

Address Level Detail


In comparison, some businesses go deeper into customer detail, defining customers according to specific addresses associated with the entities involved.

Payer, Sold-To Party, or Bill-To Party

Companies could also examine the differentiation among the payer, the sold-to party, and the bill-to party, with each having the potential to be classified as a customer depending on their involvement in the transaction.

Custom Entity Clusters


Furthermore, custom entity clusters can be established to align with particular reporting needs, facilitating a more customized identification of customers.

Join the conversation!

At CDQ we believe that an open dialogue and discussions addressing unique interpretations and definitions is key to foster a better understanding, and to establish a more refined and contextually relevant approach to defining customers.

How do you define a customer in your organization?

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SAP One Domain Model Business Partner

Business partners in SAP landscape powered by CDQ

For SAP Master Data Governance users Business Partner becomes the central master data object. SAP integrates the roles of customer, supplier, and employee to enable a smoother process automation. This is crucial as many companies often serve both as suppliers and customers. The SAP Business Partner ensures data consistency by assigning the relevant roles to the same master data object. 

CDQ empowers SAP users with seamless integration* of Business Partner Lookup to make business partner onboarding and maintenance a risk-free, user-friendly process - paving a sustainable way to improve business partner data quality in SAP.

Our SAP-certified First Time Right solution pulls in business partner information from more than 70 external sources, normalizes it to SAP One Domain Model Business Partner, and guarantees top-notch data quality using AI and more than 2,500 ready-to-use data quality rules.

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* SAP Business Suite, S/4HANA on-premise, both private and public cloud deployments through SAP MDG, cloud edition, and SAP MDG on S/4HANA
Not quite there yet? We'd love to help!

While many companies spend months defining the business partner concept, our experts from CDQ Business Consulting
can help you establish a clear scope of the project and support your teams at all stages of implementation.

Are you keeping your business partners up-to-date?

Business partner master data changes

The volatile business landscape is subject to constant changes. Your suppliers, vendors and customers may have moved to a new location, or you may want to change the payment terms.

Without a sustainable approach to keeping your business partner master data up to date, your business is exposed to a range of risks:

  • When credit assessments miss the mark or financial data lags behind, the danger of partnering with insolvent entities rises, potentially resulting in significant financial setbacks.
  • Falling short on meeting regulatory standards, whether it's anti-money laundering mandates or tax regulations, can lead to severe penalties and legal ramifications.
  • With weak data governance or insufficient security measures, your sensitive business partner information becomes vulnerable to unauthorized access or cyber threats, jeopardizing your company's integrity.


business partner outdates
Domain expertise + smart software solutions for trusted business partner data.
Tackle your business partner master data with CDQ!
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Common domain where collaboration thrives

Collaborative management of business partner master data

Business partner master data encompasses essential attributes such as legal names, addresses, tax identification numbers, and assessments of financial stability and social compliance - details directly reflecting the real-world status of your business partners.

An analysis conducted by CC CDQ found that among large multinational enterprises, an overlap in the business partner master data domain ranges between 40% to 60%, depending on the industry.

This is where collaborative data management steps in: by jointly managing common data, quality rules, and external sources, companies can significantly reduce workload and simultaneously enhance the quality of business partner data.

Discover benefits of domain collaboration

business partner overlap
Saving time and costs through MDM Automation

The untapped potential of your business partner data

Managing business partner master data manually poses numerous challenges that can impede
organizational efficiency and hinder growth. Manual processes are inherently time-consuming, error-prone, and difficult to scale, particularly as businesses expand and generate larger volumes of data.

From accelerating data entry and validation to enforcing compliance and minimizing errors, automation empowers organizations to realize significant financial benefits while laying the foundation for sustainable growth, AI-readiness, and competitive edge.

Learn more in our free eBook

Value of Automation
Leverage external data for your business partner domain

Turn your business partner master data into golden records with CDQ

Powered by SAP, we have pioneered the Golden Record concept, a method that consolidates data from multiple sources into a single, complete and trustworthy business partner record. By simultaneously validating business partners against over 70 external data sources, including premium CDQ Data Sharing Pool with over 2 million business partners, you can seamlessly augment your business partners into solid Golden Records upon creation or change.


Golden Record real time creation
Trusted business partner data

Boost your master data management with clean data

The quality and accuracy of data in the business partner domain are critical for ensuring smooth business operations. Errors or discrepancies can lead to customer dissatisfaction, supplier disputes, and regulatory compliance issues.

To maintain high data quality in the business partner domain, effective data management strategies involve implementing robust data governance structures, advanced analytics, and innovative technology solutions. 

With CDQ you can facilitate a smooth and productive business ecosystem: beneficial for promoting customer satisfaction, fostering positive supplier relationships, and ensuring strict adherence to regulatory norms. 

Over 200 million data records in the Data Sharing Pool, powered by more than 2,500 data quality rules and 70+ trusted data sources guard your business partners quality and accuracy.

Keep your business partners fit for purpose

Frequently Asked Questions

Business partner master data

What is business partner master data, and why is it important for organizations?

Business partner master data refers to the comprehensive and structured information about entities that an organization interacts with, including customers, vendors, suppliers, and other business partners. It encompasses details such as contact information, addresses, financial records, and relationship hierarchies. Managing this data effectively is crucial for organizations to streamline operations, enhance decision-making, and maintain strong relationships with stakeholders.

What types of information are typically included in business partner master data?

Common types of information found in business partner master data include:

  • Name and legal entity information
  • Contact details (address, phone number, email)
  • Financial information (payment terms, credit limits)
  • Relationship hierarchy (parent-child relationships)
  • Business classifications (customer, vendor, supplier)
  • Historical transaction data

How do organizations ensure the quality and accuracy of business partner master data?

Organizations employ various strategies to maintain the quality and accuracy of business partner master data, including data validation checks, regular audits, data cleansing processes, and establishing data governance policies. Additionally, implementing data stewardship roles and leveraging data quality tools can help continuously monitor and improve data integrity.

What are the common challenges of managing business partner master data?

Typical challenges include data inconsistency across systems, data duplication, incomplete or outdated information, and difficulties in integrating data from disparate sources. Managing changes in business relationships and ensuring compliance with data privacy regulations are also significant challenges.

What are the best practices for creating and maintaining business partner master data?

Best practices include establishing clear data governance policies, enforcing standardized data entry procedures, implementing data quality controls, conducting regular data audits, and fostering collaboration between business and IT stakeholders. Additionally, investing in robust master data management (MDM) solutions can streamline data management processes.

How do organizations handle data governance and compliance requirements related to business partner master data?

Organizations establish data governance frameworks to define roles, responsibilities, and processes for managing business partner master data. Compliance with data privacy regulations such as GDPR or CCPA involves implementing data protection measures, obtaining consent for data collection, and ensuring secure data handling practices.

What technologies or tools are commonly used for managing business partner master data?

Commonly used technologies include Master Data Management (MDM) systems, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, and data quality tools. These tools facilitate data integration, cleansing, deduplication, and governance processes to ensure the accuracy and consistency of business partner master data.

How does effective management of business partner master data contribute to overall business performance and decision-making?

Effective management of business partner master data enables organizations to gain insights into customer behavior, optimize supply chain processes, mitigate risks, and identify growth opportunities. Accurate and up-to-date master data enhances operational efficiency, supports strategic planning, and enables informed decision-making across all business functions.

These leading companies manage their business partners powered by CDQ

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Johnson & Johnson
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