DataHabitat meets this definition of data warehousing: "a copy of operational data optimized for access." DataHabitat addresses the biggest "bang for the buck" criteria for business intelligence - time to market.

DataHabitat is a PBI offering comprising all BI components – data model, ETL and data access. While competition exists from third-party vendors for some of the chosen sources for DataHabitat (i.e., Professional Advantage for Great Plains), the DataHabitat model bears no special affinity for any particular source system. DataHabitat is the midmarket answer to pure PBI plays in the upper market like Decision Point Applications.

Other benefits of robust data warehousing, again the "biggest bang for the buck" items, are also found in the DataHabitat solution including:

  • Tackling those financial source systems that provide the 3 major data warehouse "subject areas" – sales, customers, products
  • Providing "out-of-the-box" reporting capabilities that get a user started quickly as opposed to alternative solutions that initially present an intimidating blank interface
  • During an ETL process, the capture of only data that has changed since the last ETL (i.e., DataHabitat does not have to do complete data replaces)
  • Prompts user when changes occur in the source system that would impact the ETL
  • Ability to do transformations, changing the data from its operational representation if necessary

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  • The ability to bake into the ETL process the calculation of derived fields and the display of the formulas at runtime should a user require it
  • The propagation of formula changes throughout the database for consistency
  • The easy build of summary tables which improve performance of most access requirements
  • Good performance for access throughout the data warehouse
  • Easily manageable security at both row and column levels

For more information, check out SearchCRM's Best Web Links on Data Warehousing.

To ask William a question about this strategy, simply visit our Ask the Expert section in the  Business Intelligence category.

This was first published in July 2002

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