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Data Warehousing – The SME Legacy

Once only larger companies needed to consolidate ‘big’ data sets from multiple systems into a single reporting and analysis Data Warehouse but with SME’s now facing similar challenges - What can be learnt from the past and distilled into solutions for the established SME market?

Companies of any size who have been through periods of growth will see the systems which once delivered for them becoming harder to manage and make best use of.  Yes, there are cloud solutions for everything these days but for organisations that have grown whilst investing carefully into IT systems they are not always ready to throw out the old systems and start again.  This is how legacy systems are created.  They serve a purpose and have paid for themselves even if they do not deliver all of the features of the new breed of applications.

That is where a Data Warehouse can help.  Once seen as a solution for big companies with big data they are now filtering into organisations that have grown and have legacy systems with different databases and technologies.  The modern Data Warehouse is an agile collection of data scripts extracting data from the various systems with reporting either through a bespoke interface, a reporting tool (such as Crystal or SQL Reporting Services) or through the powerful analysis features that are shipped out of the box in Microsoft Excel.

These micro Data Warehouses can deliver benefits to companies of any size and make the job of compiling, consolidating, and understanding data from around the organisation as simple as opening an Excel spreadsheet.  The difference this can make, with the smallest investment, is huge and something many organisations are starting to realise.  

The added benefit of this type of solution is that the traditional ‘big bang’ approach to replacing systems can be changed to a staggered approach with key components being changed.

My advice for anyone looking to make an investment into new systems would be to consider how a Data Warehouse could release untapped potential from the legacy systems without the cost and risks of implementing new processing systems.

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