5 Reasons Why IBM i Users Need a Data Warehouse

June 27, 2016

Your company’s data is growing. In size. In complexity. And in the number of users who want access to it.

Business users count on receiving accurate data to translate into reliable information. In other words, they want data that details the state of the business—and that is fully auditable and secure. That’s a tall order.

Most likely, your company already has a front-end query tool that helps business users report on data. Maybe it’s Sequel or perhaps it’s another query tool that runs on IBM i. You use this query tool to generate reports and gain insight into trends in your data. For some organizations, this query tool is all you need to effectively implement business intelligence.

But what if that’s not enough for your company?

It might be time to consider a data warehouse—especially on a secure platform like IBM i. Here we outline five common reasons why organizations elect to implement a data warehouse to help manage their iSeries data.

1. Eliminate Data Error-Induced Stress

Your organization’s data is important, but ensuring its accuracy is highly stressful. And, too often, larger companies struggle to rely on the quality of their data.

The reason? When you have a large, complex data environment but lack a data warehouse, errors occur—often with frightening regularity. At best, employees waste valuable time correcting data—when they should have been able to rely on their data in the first place. At worst, bad data finds its way into your company’s reporting. As a result, it leads to poor decision-making and endless hidden costs.

Managing your data quality may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. A data warehouse makes data quality management actually manageable. It validates your data and brings data together from disparate systems to create one clear and accurate version of the truth.

2. Make Databases Reporting-Friendly

Your query and reporting tool meets your reporting needs, but as your data and your organization grow, it becomes more and more difficult to report on data from multiple databases.

Most operational data used to be kept on IBM i databases. But now it’s also housed in SQL databases, Oracle databases, and on and on. Without a data warehouse, you need to be knowledgeable of these other databases in order to get your data.

When you have a data warehouse, it can interpret that data for you. Plus, with an IBM i data warehouse, you don’t need to worry about building up your knowledge of SQL, Oracle, or others. All you need is what you already have: your expertise and experience on the IBM i. Your data warehouse will do the rest!

3. Avoid a Nerve-Wracking Financial Audit

Worried that the auditors might come calling? Need to be able to accurately document where your company’s financial numbers came from?

Without a data warehouse—or with the wrong data warehouse—coming up with the documentation to prove your numbers involves manually searching for the right data. It also takes up a tremendous amount of time.

The right data warehouse—like SEQUEL Data Warehouse—automatically creates the audit trail for you. All of the documentation you need to show auditors exactly what data was moved and on what day is right there in the metadata. 

4. Prevent Users from Seeing Something They Shouldn’t

Users need to see certain data in order to be able to do their jobs—but what if they see something they shouldn’t? Or what if they accidentally change something in the raw data? And the resultant error wreaks havoc on your operational system?

These fears are justifiable—and increase rapidly as your data grows. Luckily, you can stamp them out with a data warehouse. A data warehouse enables a greater level of security between the user and the raw data. As a result, the user can see the useful summary detail of the data—without the risk of accidentally harming the raw data.

5. Simplify the Business User Experience

Technical users can grasp the complexity of raw data, but the average business user struggles with it. And, when you have a large business user community that needs to interpret data, the challenge of interpreting data grows.

Meet the challenge head-on with a data warehouse. With only a query and reporting tool to directly access raw data, business users find themselves confronted with complex, hard-to-interpret data they don’t understand. But a data warehouse can interpret that complex information. So when the query and reporting tool is paired with a data warehouse, business users are able to access clear, unified data.

As a result, business users are empowered with a simple data experience—without needing to worry about the technical aspects.

Ready to Consider a Data Warehouse?

By implementing a data warehouse alongside your query and reporting tool, you empower your company to solve the common problems that arise as data grows more complex.

For instance, Sequel Data Warehouse takes complex data and integrates, organizes, and stores it in the way that you want your data to be. In short, Sequel Data Warehouse makes it easier for you to take your front-end query tool and access data that is high-quality, reporting-friendly, auditable, and secure.

Ready to try out data warehousing on IBM i?

Request your free demo


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