At the lower end of the packaged data warehousing marketplace is the stand-alone analytical application (AA). AAs may or may not have a bundled database and a means for sourcing the data for the application's needs. Considering the complexity and challenges of building many of the applications that run on data warehouses, it is no wonder that business areas are interested in packaged applications.
The AA will not be the enterprise data warehouse, but it should work with it. Since data warehouses are built for multiple applications, it is entirely feasible that many of these applications will be purchased AAs. These can be mixed with homegrown applications as well.
One of the best things we can do for these AAs is feed their data needs from our data warehouse architectures, where the data includes historical data, has been cleaned according to agreed business rules and is optimized for access and feeding of data marts.
IT data warehouse teams that hunker down and resist the AA movement because the application was "not built here" or because the AA has its own database usually will not be invited to help with doing diligence on the AA. This propagates an unarchitected environment that a data warehouse team should be charted with avoiding.
To demonstrate that you're on the side of the business, show ROI with your data warehouse efforts and gain the credibility necessary to be a partner with your business areas to the AA market.
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This was first published in November 2001