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Accessing data from different systems: When ERP isn't enough

We have different transactional systems and none of them provide good analytic tools. In other words, I don't have a fully integrated system from a single vendor. The ERP package was bought from one vendor and does not allow some types of managing information, the budget planning systems were bought from another vendor, and the BI capabilities from the ERP vendor do not allow simulation and scenarios. What is the best solution?

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Certainly, the budget planning system BI might give you capabilities beyond what the enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendor provides. However, it may not allow you access to vital information in the ERP and other transactional systems. The best solution is a data warehouse which can provide a singular view of the information contained within all of these systems. With this in mind, you now have the ability to choose the best tool(s) for performing analytics. If you lack the support and funding for such a project, I recommend you start out with a small Proof of Concept using existing or low-cost software. Use this to demonstrate the possibilities and generate the required interest from management.

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This was first published in October 2007

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