ERP reporting vs. Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence
It’s a challenging task to include ERP reports into DWH and BI solution for reporting and planning purposes. Some reasons to place data from ERP to DWH and BI solutions could be:
combination of financial data with non financial KPIs,
inadequate performance of reports, transaction systems including ERP are not reporting systems (main tasks of transaction systems are to gather and process data),
further data analysis
other reporting and planning features.
It is reasonable to include ERP into DWH. Reports are much quicker, have more functionalities.
There are two types of situations. ERP can export data to in house DWH/BI solution, from same vendor example of SAP (BW), or can export data to independent DWH/BI solution. Both cases have advantages and disadvantages. If ERP data is exported into integrated DWH/BI solution, data flow, is better optimized and needs less deploy and maintenance. Second solution is usually better from perspective of overall functionalities, Sybase, Hyperion, SAS, Cognos and etc., but introduces significant one more step to be maintained.
Simple data extractions usually have quite sufficient reporting performance and it’s really doubtful to transfer such ERP reports to other reporting platforms. In case of complex extractions from ERP when data includes dimensions like tracking of materials per projects, elements, depreciation, technology and similar…. well this is a little bit very time consuming report to be generated in ERP. This example is complicated and long job for ERP experts to prepare extraction from ERP systems. It is time consuming for experts on DWH/BI side to restore desired project. It is a tough transfer in general and once implemented need recursive testing and update after each change in ERP, upgrade, service pack and similar.
Transfer of reports into reporting systems need to be carefully prepared, specified and financially weighted in business case. Is it really necessary to transfer existing reports only cause of “poor” performance or is it better to create new reports that do not exist? This are core questions…. all depends on company resources and information policy.
To conclude, if data stay in ERP and is not exported to higher level of reporting systems, decision supporting systems can not be used in information integration and for advanced analytics. If company decides to to transfer data and reports it will not be an easy job at all.
Related posts, articles and documents:
- Reporting Problems
- Business Intelligence PDF
- Reporting Business Intelligence Architect
- Internal reporting
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