Playmarts Give Business Analysts Agility with Control
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Overview: One key group of potential users of business intelligence tools and data warehouse data has been seriously underserved for many years. These power business analysts resort to a mishmash of desktop productivity tools to support them in their search for innovative answers in the ever-growing jungles of enterprise data.
IT departments trying to keep control of the corporate data asset through the data warehouse architecture denounce the "spreadmarts" thus created. Indeed, business analysts themselves also often wish that there was a better way.
This paper introduces a new category of data mart — the playmart — to address the needs of both business analysts and IT. In essence, a playmart provides agility for users through freeform, iterative exploration of data from multiple sources (playing with the data) in a safe, controlled and traceable environment (a mart).
The goal, simply, is to provide users with the freedom to innovate, while maintaining corporate auditability, as well as to find unique business value in enterprise data and to ensure it is valid and repeatable when needed.
The playmart is more than a concept, however. A new tool - Lyza - provides a significant first set of the functionality that the playmart requires.