In an effort to escape 'Excel-anarchy' many organizations transition away from error-prone spreadsheet-driven reporting toward governed enterprise data warehouses which are expected to provide a 'single-version-of-the-truth' for all reporting and analytics endeavours. To that end, during the implementation process, bespoke business rules and constraints are applied to the data warehouse to enforce the consistency and validity of reported data.
Although data warehouse applications (like Jet Report's Jet Data Manager) simplifies the process of applying business rules to data sets, the majority of implementations Onyx Reporting encounters do not report & monitor outlier records that fail data validation constraints. Translation: you may be truncating data and not know it. Double Translation: You may be making decisions based on incomplete data! That's not to say that supporting tools within the product ecosystem don't exist! They just frequently go under utilized.
Every Data Warehouse is built on (un)declared Business Rules
The expectation that business keys (like Customer No or G/L Account No) will uniquely identify one member of a dimension is virtually universal. Though a semi-obvious requirement, particularly when organizations are integrating data from disparate sources (multiple companies, a legacy system, web-based or unstructured data sources), conflicts between the expected versus actual data reality can arise. Additionally, there can be a disconnect between expected values (as laid out by standard operating procedures) and the actual values recorded in the ERP systems (ex. every sales event should be attributed to a Salesperson or Geographic Region).
To close the loop, and prevent your organization from making strategic decisions based on incomplete information, system implementors must add measures and controls for monitoring and correcting records that fail data validation.
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Author Jae Wilson, lead data strategist at Onyx Reporting, partners with co-author Joel Conarton, director at executive and management consultancy Catalystis, to provide strategic solutions for data-driven organizations.
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