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To consolidate financials or not?

What BI tools allow a company to provide consolidated financials that are fed by both automated systems (i.e. Great Plains) and manual intervention (i.e. Excel)?

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You would want to consolidate the data in a data warehouse/data mart so that you are not doing cross-system joins on the fly. The need you articulate, plus the inability to access data for query in those systems, are common reasons shops get into data warehousing in the first place. As for the manual data entry part, I would attempt to keep the entry in a separate system from the data warehouse and source it into the warehouse, like the Great Plains data. It's important to keep the sancity and function of each tier in the architecture.

I would definitely look at Data Habitat's Pre-Packaged BI Solution for Great Plains as my first step.

This was first published in January 2004

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