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Mike Ferguson

Welcome to my blog on the UK Business Intelligence Network. I hope to help you stay in touch with hot topics and reality on the ground in the UK and European business intelligence markets and to provide content, opinion and expertise on business intelligence (BI) and its related technologies. I also would relish it if you too can share your own valuable experiences. Let's hear what's going on in BI in the UK.

About the author >

Mike Ferguson is Managing Director of Intelligent Business Strategies Limited, a leading information technology analyst and consulting company. As lead analyst and consultant, he specializes in enterprise business intelligence, enterprise business integration, and enterprise portals. He can be contacted at +44 1625 520700 or via e-mail at mferguson@intelligentbusiness.biz.

December 2009 Archives

Following on from my last blog on data federation, the next data federation pattern I would like to discuss is a On-Demand Information Services Pattern. This is as follows:

 

Pattern Description

This pattern uses data virtualization to provide on-demand integrated data to applications, reporting tools, processes and portals via a web services user interface. Structured and semi-structured data sources are supported including RDBMS, any web service (internal or external), web syndication feeds, flat files, XML, packaged applications and non-relational databases.

 

Pattern Diagram

Blog-TheOnDemandInformationServicesPattern.JPG

 

Pattern Example Use Case

A company needs to different kinds of information services targeted at different role-based user communities for access via their enterprise portal.  These services include:

 

·         Internal operational and analytical information services

·         Information services that integrate structured and semi-structured information including internal and external syndicated web feeds

·         Information as a Service (IaaS) services that  render information in various XML formats (e.g. XBRL) for consumption by external users and applications

 

Reasons For Using It

Rapid development of re-usable information services for consumption by portals, composite applications, processes and reporting tools.

 


Posted December 18, 2009 3:34 AM
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Following on from my last blog on data federation, the next data federation pattern I would like to discuss is a Master Data Virtual MDM pattern. This is as follows:

 

Pattern Description

This pattern uses data virtualization to provide one or more on-demand integrated views of master data entities such as customer, product, asset, employee etc. even though the master data is fractured across multiple underlying systems. Applications, processes, portals, reporting tools and data integration workflows needing master data can acquire it on-demand via a web service interface or via a query interface such as SQL.

 

Pattern Diagram

Blog-TheVirtualMasterDataManagementPattern.JPG

Pattern Example Use Case

A manufacturer needs to make sure that changes to its customer data are made available to its marketing, e-commerce, finance and distribution systems as well as its business intelligence systems to keep business operations, reporting and analysis running smoothly. A shipping group of companies needs to perform a routine maintenance upgrade on a particular type of asset. However, its assets are managed by different systems in multiple lines of business. In order to budget for this upgrade it needs to have a single view of assets to fully understand maintenance costs. 

 

Reasons For Using It

To obtain a single integrated views of master data for consistency across business operations quickly at a relatively low cost.


Posted December 11, 2009 9:24 AM
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Following on from my last blog on data federation, the next data federation pattern I would like to discuss is a Data Warehouse Virtual Data Source pattern. This is as follows:

Pattern Description

This pattern uses virtual views of federated data to create virtual data source components for use in ETL processing. The purpose of this pattern is twofold. Firstly to protect ETL workflows from structural changes to operational data sources. Secondly to create re-usable virtual data source 'components' for accessing disintegrated master and transactional data. The virtual data source pattern effectively 'ring fences' just the data associated with a customer, or a product for example, meaning that ETL workflows can be built for customer data, product data, asset data, order data etc.  This helps ETL designers to create ETL jobs dedicated to a particular type of data e.g. the customer ETL job, the product ETL job, the orders ETL job. Simplistic design of data consolidation workflows dedicated to a type of data allows these jobs to be re-used if the same data is needed elsewhere, e.g. customer data needed in two different data marts. It also guarantees that the same data is made available again and again via the same virtual data source  

 

Pattern Diagram

Blog-TheVirtualDataSourcePattern.JPG

Pattern Example Use Case

Merger and acquisitions and new system releases often cause changes to operational systems data structures. This pattern can be used to shield ETL jobs that populate data warehouses and master data hubs from structural changes to source systems simply by changing the mappings in the virtual source views.

 

Reasons For Using It

Reasons for using this pattern include the ability to manage change more easily, lower ETL development and maintenance costs and modular design of data integration workflows associated with consolidating data.


Posted December 4, 2009 3:51 AM
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