Traditionally, financial data marts and operation data stores are built and managed by IT. So how does the business user view and manage the hierarchies and metadata attributes without IT getting in the way? Coming from the IT side of the house, I have had the opinion that the business might “know the business”, but given the opportunity to manage a technical system they will take shortcuts and ultimately bring the IT solution back to a level they are comfortable with…and thanks to Bill Gates, Microsoft Excel ends up trumping the investment in technology.
I have found that there needs to be a bridge between IT and business users. By the nature of a bridge, there is a span that straddles an open gap with the potential if not built correctly the plunge can be a long and ‘fatal’ fall.
There are many companies offering workflow tools to bridge the gap by helping the communication between business and IT. Alone these solutions still leave opportunity for failure as IT is managing systems it does not have an intimate ownership in. Nor does IT have the knowledge to determine if the business is going to request a change that will impact the system. IT presumes that if the software allows the change than there is no reason why not to do it. As we all have experience one time or another, this is a bad assumption.
Of the many tools I have worked with, currently the Oracle Data Relationship Management (DRM) tool (formally Hyperion MDM / Razza Dimension Server) fills the gap between business and IT. Using a tool such as this gives a strong user interface that the business can use and buy into while allowing IT to be involved by building edit checks and integrity checks into DRM. Additionally it provides IT the vested ownership while keeping the business from impacting their own “business rules”. Not to mention IT’s data governance policies are enforced which keeps IT happy.