Tactical solutions seem attractive because they enable the business to avoid the hard problem of accommodating multiple department-specific definitions of the same raw data. However, this perceived benefit comes at a high price.
While it is true that the time, effort and resources required to build a data mart are significantly less than building a data warehouse, it is important to recognize that financial data marts cannot be scaled or maintained in a cost-effective manner. Every time a new regulatory reporting requirement arrives, the business must connect the data mart to a new data feed from a source system. After a certain point, the source system will be unable to support additional data feeds to new data marts.
Even before this point is reached, businesses that adopt the data mart approach will face the time-consuming task of sourcing, extracting and integrating new source data whenever any department has a new reporting requirement. And crucially, the development effort required to support multiple data marts will dramatically increase your operational costs.
Faced with such a situation, it is tempting for businesses that have downscoped their data warehouse to abandon the project altogether. However, there is a way to mitigate at least one of the key challenges of the data mart approach. By loading raw data from your source systems into a centralized, well-architected data repository, you can feed multiple department-specific data marts without the tight time-window restrictions of loading directly from the production environment.
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Exploring the risks and opportunities of a do-it-yourself approach.