As consultants, we have found that the majority of struggling IBM Cognos implementations we encounter are due to either poor framework model design, or more often, a flawed database architecture. The case of the latter can present itself in a number of ways, but in the worst cases, we’ve discovered reporting applications built upon highly normalized OLTP systems that are ineffective and detrimental to both analytical and operational performance of an organization’s information systems. Another common case is an implementation of Cognos upon an existing data warehouse where users are provided with unfettered ad-hoc access to the data source for the first time, exposing previously unforeseen or unknown data quality issues. Read more

SAP-R/3 is one of the most common ERP applications for manufacturing industries.  The data warehouse for such installations has been Oracle.  The biggest pain point for Oracle implementations has been getting the data out of SAP-R/3, which involves complex processes and expert domain knowledge.  With the introduction of SAP-BW, the data warehouse suite, ’Getting the data out’ of SAP-R/3 requires little effort.  Over years, SAP-BW has matured to handle large data volumes and meet the service level agreements for large enterprises.  The question then arises, especially for those organizations with an Oracle data warehouse, if moving to SAP-BW makes long term sense. There are several factors to be considered, the core being organizational commitment and long term vision.  One of the factors is understanding the differences between SAP-BW and Oracle within the context of an enterprise data warehouse. Read more