The customer relationship management (CRM) and business intelligence can sometimes conflict because your CRM tool has your customer activity from a sales perspective, and your data warehouse has you customer activity from an operational perspective in it, so these two systems double up the information required to do their respected jobs, this means the CRM system will have prospects and sales and marketing data in it that usually will not end up in your data warehouse (because it isn’t interested in the mailing lists you procure, and the vast amount of data that you’re marketing to), it’s more interested in what the business is doing with operational information.
At the same time, to run a successful marketing campaign, you need transactional history of your customers to ensure your campaigns are correctly targeted and this sophisticated data analysis and history transactions is usually in the data warehouse. You also need to carry out Cognos training among workers.
The challenge this brings is ensuring the data between these two systems is managed in a way that means the activities that come back into the data warehouse can measure what comes in the operational systems. This way you always know what money you’re making from your marketing activities and you can send these customer data sets back to your CRM system.
If you’ve implanted an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, you’ve already gone a long way to integrating your systems, unfortunately, just because you’ve got an ERP solution doesn’t mean you don’t also need a data warehouse.
You need to then decide whether you put that data in your ERP system so it then becomes your data warehouse to give you an enterprise view, or do you take your ERP data and put it in a data warehouse along side your other pots of data and make that your enterprise view? This is something you’ll need to address as part of your IT strategy.
More organisations are using software as a service to implement their core systems, this is where by you use an online service provider to host your solution for you and access it through the web, this does mean your data is no longer inside your organisation and as it’s held externally, you have less access to it.
If you think you need cognos training that includes that data, you need to factor in getting a data feed back into that organisation and into your systems, you then need somewhere to store and analyse it. You also need to consider what kind of business intelligence those solutions provide to see how you’re going to progress with your business intelligence solutions if your going to use your software as a service.