Having an Enterprise Data Model can break up data silos within the organization. In a real-world scenario a single data source is used multiple times by various users and departments to fulfill their reporting needs – sometimes even with different visualization tools.
In many cases this also leads to duplicate data transformations within the data pipeline and the addition of key figures or metrics on top of the data source. This common scenario – which often occurs in practice - has several downsides. To name three:
- Efforts might be multiplied as common transformations are performed multiple times – either within the reporting tool itself or sometimes in middleware applications.
- Key Figures and metrics with the same name are calculated differently across reports which provides a non-holistic view and potential violation of corporate guidelines.
- Administrative and maintenance efforts are not centralized – a new source system has to be integrated manually into several transformations.
An Enterprise Data Model – along with organizational governance - can help to solve those challenges and provide a holistic Single Source of Truth for corporate data sources. An EDM can help to establish data standards within the organization and enables the coexistence of both Enterprise Business Intelligence (BI) and Self-Service Business Intelligence (SSBI). Users can stick to curated data sources with verified transformations, both standardized and trusted metrics and are still free to build additional transformations or metrics to fulfill their individual reporting needs.
In summary, an Enterprise Data Model can come with a bunch of advantages, to name a few:
- Single source of truth with verified transformations and trusted metrics
- Unified data governance, security and access management
- Less administrative and maintenance effort for individual report creators and IT in the long term
- Unified enterprise reporting experience for report consumers, by establishing and using predefined organizational standards
In the next chapter of this article we will have a focus on Enterprise Business Intelligence with Microsoft Power BI, where we will outline various use cases for Enterprise Reporting via the XMLA endpoint.