Best Practice Report

Federation: Sharpen Your Focus On Vast Constellations Of Data

October 2nd, 2008
JK
James Kobielus
With contributors:
Boris Evelson , Norman Nicolson , Rob Karel

Summary

Scattered business information permeates many enterprises. This disunited data often conforms to various schemas and formats, resides in sundry databases and applications, and falls under the purview of myriad owners, administrators, and business domains. Such a fragmented state of affairs can prove frustrating for information workers who require a single, unified view of disparate operational data within their reports, dashboards, query tools, and other business intelligence (BI) applications. The most common approach for integrating heterogeneous data into a single, unified BI view is enterprise data warehousing (EDW), which has constraints that often limit its applicability in highly decentralized and agile environments. When users simply need unified, near-real-time, on-demand access to data that originates in many source applications, data federation is an attractive alternative alternative that is part of an overall information-as-a-service (IaaS) strategy. Information and knowledge management (I&KM) professionals should also consider data federation a complementary approach that can extend and enrich their current EDW environment.

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