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Data Sources

All Business Intelligence implementations starts with operational data, its interpretation, the selection of important data for key performance indicators and its future placement inside data warehouse or data mart. This operational data is generated from regular systems: Customer Relationship Management Systems, Finance Systems, Sales Systems, Commercial off-the Shelf Systems and other Core Systems. For Business Intelligence purposes, other external or non-system-generated data sources are important to include, like flat files (e.g. Worksheet files, docs files), unstructured data (e.g. news, publications, research).

Other important data sources could be the organization’s competitors’ data. This data gives to the organization the possibility to compares the organization’s performance with competitors performance, this is called benchmarking.

Some Data Sources to feed...

Some Data Sources to feed...

Some considerations about data sources are:

  • How to deal with the vast diversity of environments data sources reside: Every business application works with its own environment, business rules, database management system, data schemas and its own data field’s meanings and interpretations.
  • Where the data sources are: If these sources are geographically distant located because network and hardware infrastructure implications.
  • Data source systems’ users and ownership issues: the quality of the original data and permissions to use this data could be an important political issue and to establish appropriate access to this data from Bi implementation must take on cut carefully.
  • Impact of Business Intelligence processes on operational systems: retrieving data from transactional systems can affect system´s performance.