8/22/2013

How to Avoid Data Silos

With any organization, they have accounting packages, marketing data, web site data and a variety of other sources.

And each app was probably built independently from other apps or purchase from 3rd party vendors.

Then they throw it over the wall to IT and say "Integrate this mess".

And after that's done, IT throws it over their fence to the BI team and says "Report on this mess".

Thus, we have infrastructures full of data silos.

Tough to integrate, few keys to relate systems back and forth, dirty data, you name it.

BI gets to carry the weight for all the dysfunction upstream.

So I say this, to avoid data silos, have the data people brought in at the beginning of a project lifecycle, not the end for the cleanup.

Reporting people, ETL people, Analytics people need to be included in the front end designing of system, so they can assist in relational designs, to make the reporting easier and more fluid.

We have technical Data Architects who take and process the data once it's in the database into a Data Warehouse or what have you.

What I'm saying is there needs to be someone way before that, before the transactional database is constructed, so "hooks" can be inserted to make the back end reporting simpler.

When I started in Reporting for IT in 1996, I was called in at the end of a huge project to create some reports in Crystal Reports, after the system was already in place and the process hasn't change in 20 years.

BI PEOPLE NEED TO BE INCLUDED UP FRONT WHEN DESIGNING NEW APPS TO SPEED UP THE ANALYTIC CREATION AND SIMPLIFY REPORTING AND AVOID DATA SILOS.

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