Data Integration and BI: The High Cost of Doing Nothing

Loraine Lawson

Increasingly, data integration and data quality initiatives go hand-in-hand. And with good reason: Experts say it costs $1 to verify a record at the source, $10 to later cleanse and de-dupe it, and $100 if nothing is done, according to a recent Computerworld Technology Briefing on business intelligence. That $100 figure - it's based on accumulated costs because you didn't fix the problem.


That's a lot of money to spend on nothing.


"The State of Data" is a set of articles about common data problems-data quality, data integration, unstructured data and migrating data. What comes across loud and clear throughout the briefing is that integration and data quality issues must be addressed-together, particularly when it comes to business analytics projects. According to IDC, when companies were asked what's most difficult about business analytics software projects, the top responses were:

  • Integrating data from multiple source systems - 59 percent
  • Data quality - 56 percent
  • Integrating with enterprise applications - 44 percent


It's sponsored by SAS, which dominates most of the 14-page package, including mentions in the main articles, a Q&A with the SAS global product marketing manager for business intelligence, and a piece written by David Barkaway, the data integration solution manager for the company's consulting branch.


Still, despite the not-so-subtle plugs for SAS solutions, it's worth reading. First, though all pieces mention SAS in some way, they also include information about data from IDC, Philip Russom of The Data Warehousing Institute, and David Loshin of Knowledge Integrity. For instance, the article, "Keys to the BI Kingdom," outlines a TDWI best practice recommendation for handling collaborative data integration.


Second, several pieces-including the Q&A-discuss the integration of unstructured data with the structured data found in BI tools.


Third, it's a free download, so what have you got to lose? I particularly recommend you check it out if you're an SAP client, since there's a good bit of discussion about integrating ERP data-and SAP data in particular-with BI systems.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Nov 25, 2009 6:39 PM Robert Eve Robert Eve  says:

For readers interested in other high costs of doing nothing (or perhaps better said the high cost of continuing to always do things the same old way when a better alternative exists), check out Claudia Imhoff's white paper, "To V or not to V: BI Gets Virtual"  http://www.compositesw.com/index.php/resources/white-papers-reports/ 

In it Claudia provides guidance on when to use lower cost, more nimble data virtualization versus higher cost, longer time-to-solution physical consolidation data integration.



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