Most companies of any healthy size are depending on more than one data source for organization information, such as a Customer Relationship Management (CRM), an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Payroll, and vertical industry systems, usually in addition to data in manual spreadsheet workbooks. At Martin & Associates, we know that even when you have a good accounting system report writer or a pre-built online analytical processing (OLAP) cube as a data source, one of the primary ways for the executive team to make informed business decisions involves the capability to depend on financial statements and/or dashboards to review all of your company data. Usually, each of the systems or data sources are equipped with their own distinct BI tools. But a data warehouse can solve this unfortunate situation of juggling data source, offering one platform to consolidate diverse types of data. In this article, we will investigate the perks of a data warehouse (DW) to solve your data management problems with a Microsoft SQL Server.
But maybe you’re wondering, why a data warehouse over an OLAP cube? Due to the architecture, data warehousing empowers users to aggregate important information from all of your key data sources. Using the right Business Intelligence (BI) front end solutions, your financial statements, budgets, and dashboards will be more robust and produced at a higher level because of the stability that a DW provides. A singular reporting database, like a DW, enables professionals at all levels to access, manage, and evaluate company data across implemented data sources, without involving the IT department. Now that we have established the substantial power of combining data in one platform, you need to know how this solution can be deployed for your company.
Common questions include: Who is going to build the data warehouse? Does the DW need to be crafted from scratch in Microsoft SQL Server? And what about the completely built, customizable data warehouses on the market? What is the better option? Martin & Associates is happy to report that you do have some choices when it comes to DWs, but one of these options is much more cost efficient than the other.
Building your own data warehouse. If you decide to tackle the construction of your own DW, you need to know that very few organizations have DW architects on the payroll, so you will probably have to contract expensive professionals to put together a DW for you and your particular business needs. In terms of monetary costs, it can end up being hundreds of thousands of dollars, best case scenario, and sometimes, in the 7-fgure range with salaries and/or consulting fees. In terms of time needed to build a DW at home, the average is usually around 9 months, but it’s not uncommon that a homegrown DW project can last years and millions of dollars. Due to the lengthy construction time, high costs, and related steep risk of failure because of non-expert involvement in the design process – or key DW contributors moving on mid-project implementation, a DW can be too costly for lots of mid-market corporations. Luckily, commercial DW solutions are more accessible.
To continue learning more about Data Warehouse software for Microsoft SQL Server, read the rest of this article here.