Question: Operational and IW reporting are done by two separate teams. The team that supports the transaction system also is responsible for operational reporting. I am curious about your views on this division. This always raises the issue of how do you decide if a request for information is operational or analytical. The next question is from where should the report be sourced: the operational system or the IW? And what reporting tools should be used? We are a mainframe shop and still use a lot of Easytrieve. We also have Business Objects and Crystal. I have my own opinions but would love to hear from the experts.

Chuck Kelley's Answer: If your information warehouse (IW) is loaded daily and your reporting needs data as of the moment, then reporting should be done on the transaction system. I am a big believer that if all the data required is in the IW, then use it. If the data required is only in the operational system and the IW, then you have a choice of using just the operational system (I prefer not to do this) or use a combination of the two (my preference). I prefer my transaction system be lean of data and not keep the history (once the IW is in place and working) in it, unless it is absolutely needed.

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