JAN 29, 2010 5:00am ET

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Pros and Cons of Using a Vendor Provided Analytical Data Model in Your BI Implementation


The following question comes from many of our clients: what are some of the advantages and risks of implementing a vendor provided analytical logical data model at the start of any Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing or other Information Management initiatives? Some quick thoughts on pros and cons:

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Comments (20)
Right on with the pros.. If you look at industry models for an EDW you have a much better chance of finding a better fit (once again a good starting point only) as opposed to getting "analytical" models which are typical subject oriented schemas for datamarts. This is certainly not as plug for Sybase but their IWS datawarehouse solution does have industry logical/physical models. The EDW model does have transaction/archival/aggregation layers modeled right into it.

Most folks combine how information is sourced/integrated and how information is used into a single EDW model. Add on top of that the challenge to keep everything "start schema"ish. The uses/use-cases of information are many and continue to evolve in any business. If we look at the Bill's corporate information factory, the EDW is an integration point for the enterprise and the datamarts represent various applications or uses of that information. Even when an organization does have the talent to develop an enterprise model, getting business to define things accurately and consistently might be a challenge. This is a problem no packaged or home grown model can solve. Bringing consultants in to facilitate might make the exercise a little more efficient at best. At the end of the day the organization has to appreciate the "value" of information or the "cost" of not doing so and business/IT leadership need to be articulate this well and press for neccesary change.

Posted by Kary K | Friday, January 29 2010 at 5:55PM ET

As usual, you are commenting on something very relevant and current. We get this question a lot and I hoping I can point my prospects to your Blog post.

I agree with all the Pros.

Regarding the cons:

I agree with all the Cons, but have questions/comments regarding the two below.

1. Competitive Advantage: I believe the competitive advantage derives from proprietary business processes. In this case, a packaged analytic model will not or at least "should not" support the proprietary business process. If it did, there was only an illusion of competitive advantage. There should be not fit. Typically vendors will pick business processes that are common to build a packaged analytic model, so that they can monetize he engg. investments and stay away from highly custom processes as it relates to packaging.

2. "Agile BI": Given that the model is ready, I would assume it would save time and deliver a faster deployment. Confused about this one, hopefully you can elaborate, what you meant.

Posted by Ajay D | Tuesday, February 02 2010 at 12:57PM ET
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