Organizations that deploy reporting and business intelligence applications without having an enterprise strategy are taking an approach similar to building the Winchester Mystery House. The Winchester Mystery House is an architectural marvel with 160 rooms, handcrafted construction and impressive fixtures. However, there was no set of master plans or blue prints, resulting and inefficient design that underutilized the space it occupied (http://www.winchestermysteryhouse.com). Developing a reporting environment, whether it is a data warehouse, operational data store, data mart, OLAP cube or deployment of business intelligence applications, requires an enterprise reporting strategy to effectively utilize the technology and realize value from the investment.

Unlike the random inspirations of Sarah Winchester to build upon her house, an enterprise reporting strategy or Information Access Road Map (IAR)is a plan to create or evolve an organization’s reporting and often disparate, approaches into a comprehensive means of providing individuals within an organization the information that they need for reporting, analysis and decision-making purposes. An IAR is a strategy whereby the business requirement for information is documented along with the existing reporting environment and a high-level plan to develop the technical reporting architecture to support the business requirements and desired information delivery mechanisms.  An IAR is a document that contains several components such as subject matter assessment, technical and information assessment, subject matter prioritization, information consumer classification, IT readiness assessment and summary.

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