Packaged reports versus integrated reporting.

Data Silo?

Software Packages like SAP, Peoplesoft, or Kronos are dedicated to solving problems. They are full-featured packages that come with plenty of options to meet the needs of their customers.

However a lot of people I speak with about these packages act as if these packages are the only packages in the enterprise.  More often than not, these "all encompassing" packages are not alone in the enterprise; there are other systems with which they need to interact.

A package is not alone

I was reminded of some of my discussions about this topic when I saw a toy commercial recently. They show children playing with just that particular toy set that the advertisement is showing. In reality this one toy set is part of an entire room full of toys.  Cleaning up all of these toys can become a challenge.

If you have ever helped a child find a part of a toy you will understand.

For a toy set if you want to take a car from one set and play with that car on a new race set you simply pick up the car and start playing with it. If it doesn’t quite fit the child will use their imagination to make the car either a giants car, or a tiny robot car looking for other tiny cars in that world.

For an application it’s not quite that simple. If you have a large volume of data in an older application or legacy application, and you want to use that data in your new application you have to have a migration strategy requiring expertise in both applications as well as data manipulation. If these applications use different data repositories, Oracle and the other SQL server, that can make it more complicated.

If you want to use both applications at the same time, during a soft launch, for example, data integration becomes even more vital.

Data needs to be integrated

Constant feedback of performance is a vital business function. Seeing the performance of only one application will limit your vision in other areas. Data Management professionals are the ones ultimately responsible for knowing where all of the “toys” are located and how to get them as well show how they are represented.

Proactive data management planning ensures that some of these problems never emerge. If every week or month or day you have lots of IT people and Business Analysts looking for data, you need to re-think your strategy.Because then you are working for your data, rather than having your data work for you.

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