Wayne Eckerson, veteran consultant and industry analyst in analytics, business intelligence, performance management and data warehousing, has written an eBook entitled “Federating Architectures for BI Professionals,” published by BeyeNETWORK and underwritten by data virtualization leader Composite Software.

In the eBook, Eckerson writes that BI professionals, despite their best efforts, currently operate in a federated world where critical data and analytical logic is spread across multiple databases and applications in various parts of an organization. A federated architecture knits these disparate environments together virtually rather than physically, Eckerson writes. It is neither centralized nor decentralized, but a hybrid of the two, maximizing the benefits of both options, while minimizing their downsides. Moreover he writes, a federated architecture is fluid, changing shape as an organization reinvents itself to better respond to new market realities. The BeyeNETWORK eBook describes how to create a federated BI architecture that aligns with organizational imperatives. Readers will:

  • Learn the various options for architecting BI environments—centralized, decentralized, and federated—and their strengths and weaknesses using case studies.
  • Discover the impact of organizational models on BI architectures as the two evolve in lockstep over time.
  • Learn how to balance corporate and departmental interests when creating a BI architecture.
  • Understand the role and value of data virtualization tools in a federated architecture.

“Contrary to popular opinion, a BI architecture is a dynamic environment, not a blueprint written in stone,” Eckerson said. “BI managers must define an architecture based on prevailing corporate strategies and then be ready to deviate from the plan when the business changes due to an unanticipated circumstance, such as a merger, acquisition, or new CEO.

“Thanks to the popularity of data center virtualization, many organizations are exploring the possibility of virtualizing their data as well to help manage these dynamic environments,” Eckerson added. “More importantly, advances in network speeds, CPU performance, and available memory have significantly increased the performance and scalability of data virtualization tools, expanding the range of applications they can support. Moreover, data virtualization vendors continue to enhance their query optimizers to handle more complex queries and larger data volumes.”

“Historically, BI data federation has been the most popular data virtualization starting point,” added Composite Software CTO David Besemer. “Data virtualization is an excellent way to expand BI reporting to sources beyond the existing cubes or data marts. Popular BI vendors have promoted this approach and even embedded data virtualization offerings in their BI solutions to simplify this method of adoption. The benefits include both more complete and actionable information and faster time-to-solution,” Besemer said.

The eBook is available free of charge and can be download below:
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