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)
I agree with most of your analysis - I feel stronger about the con's than the pro's. I believe utilizing an industry model does make sense for mid-size companies or for industries where the a large part of core information domains are either highly regulated or based on industry standards - Telecom comes to mind. In Industries where information models differ highly between competitors or in most Fortune 500 companies acquiring an industry model as a set standard will most likely create more headache than benefit. Here are a few dealbreakers I have seen before:

.) Large companies are having a hard time agreeing on data concepts to begin with. The vendor model is yet another player with a different opinion on what a 'Customer' or a 'Product' is .) As you mentioned above large players have competitive advantage in their data model. I know of a credit card issuer that collects in excess of 1400 data elements for every swipe of a credit card .) The need for customization will outpace the benefit and create unwieldy models

I think the main benefit for large organizations could be to get a head start, see concepts they may not have thought of and provide general modeling guidelines that the organization may want to adopt.

More on gaining competitive advantage from information at http://www.theinformationadvantage.com

Posted by Oliver H | Tuesday, February 02 2010 at 3:51PM ET
It was great for me to read this article and comments. Many companies seem to be going down the path of a "data-mart-in-a-box" solutions (i.e., SAP BW cubes, and Business Objects RapidMarts) that result in less than 100% of the business requirements. In some cases, this results in a penalty to the implementation team when the solution doesn't fully meet business expectations. Prepackaed/designed solutions may be a good starting point, but the practice that has proved to work for me is the top down performance management approach. Nothing works better than delivering a solution that aligns with company goals that are measurable.
Posted by Steven P | Tuesday, February 02 2010 at 3:53PM ET
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