Problem solve Get help with specific problems with your technologies, process and projects.

BI without ETL

I'd like to know about current capablities for providing OLAP-like business intelligence queries against data that is in the source systems, rather than having to extract, transform, and load it to another database. Is this possible? I'm thinking of a virtual data warehouse, augmented and directed by a metadata repository for directing the queries to the appropriate data store. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and expertise.
Sure, it's possible. The BI tools are ignorant to the fact that the databases they report against are DW or Operational Support Systems (OSS). Your metadata-driven virtual data warehouse idea may seem attractive from the perspective of avoiding the need to extract, transform and load, but make sure you consider the cost of this approach too. Primarily, your OSSs are designed to support the posting of business transactions. Highly normalized and tuned for small scoped inserts, updates and deletes. Start running OLAP queries against that database, and I guarantee the creation of unhappy clients -- either the OLAP client, the OSS client or both. BI tools work best against databases designed for OLAP. The creation and maintenance of OLAP reports, charts, dashboards, queries, etc. are much less painful. The performance of your OSS database will suffer. You simply can't tune a single database to support OLTP and OLAP concurrently. The fact is, one or the other will suffer. You can prove it to yourself or take advantage of the thousands of companies before you and learn from their hard learned lessons.

Dig Deeper on Oracle database design and architecture

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.