Business Intelligence systems data source
ETL tools are part of Business Intelligence systems. They allow to integrate the data from different sources using dedicated drivers. Thereby these tools can be connected with distinct IT systems (e.g. ERP, CRM), data bases and external files (e.g. Excel and CSV files). When it is necessary to integrate the data from sources which don’t have predefined drivers, it is possible to use ODBC or OLE DB interface.
ETL tool selection is a very important part of Business Intelligence system designing. It is worth to benefit from specialists’ experience who have done a lot of implementations and know this type of tools.
Is it possible to import data directly from Excel to Business Intelligence system?
All implemented Business Intelligence systems allow to import and export data from Excel – both older and newer versions. Most frequently, the tools used in ETL service have a predefined driver to operate .xls and .xlsx files because it is a very common data source.
Is it possible to successively add new source systems to Business Intelligence system?
One of the Business Intelligence systems construction metods is an incremental method, which assumes system extension by adding new sources and functionalities.
This approach enables to implement priority system elements, so users have an acces to the key functions and the most relevant data, then they can extend it by adding additional components. System extention concerns also the appearance of new data sources. It is strictly connected with ETL processes rebuilding, which allows to take advantage of many different data sources (see more: Which data sources can you connect with Business Intelligence system?).
You may exchange one source system with another without need to rebuild the whole BI solution. It is enough to correct some ETL processes (in most cases reports and managers dashboards can remain unchanged). It is a very imporatnt BI system feature which ensure the continuity of reporting in organization.
Can a business user cope with data exchange?
A high quality of data is crucial for Business Intelligence analysis. Therefore, there appear more and more solutions supporting the data management process (such as Microsoft SQL Server Data Quality Services). It helps solve problems of completeness, accuracy, uniqueness and integrity.