Companies these days have more data than ever. Even small companies can easily have terabytes of data. Employees need access to proper, reliable, and most importantly correct data in order to translate that raw data into actionable information. Without the ability to properly turn data into actionable information companies aren’t able to make intelligent decisions that can be used to drive the business forward.
Without proper data, people are forced to make assumptions or to insert made-up data in order to approximate the actual data. This effectively made-up data ends up leading people to make incorrect assumptions about the business, which can lead to the business not doing its best or being the most efficient that it can be. Data errors can compound themselves by laying these assumptions underneath other assumptions; which are then based on other assumptions. Quickly the information which is being used to make critical business decisions is based completely on inaccurate data. Incorrect information, and by extension incorrect reports can be the death of a company.
This created information can find its way into all sorts of places, from daily sales numbers to weekly and monthly sales reports, all the way up to reports to investors, the board of directors, executives, or even the public market. The farther the created information goes from the source, the harder it is to remove once it’s discovered that the information isn’t correct.
Companies need correct information in order to make actionable decisions. For companies to get that information it all boils down to employees needing correct and valid data so that those employees are able to convert that data into valid information.
One way to get valid information is to create reports from production systems. Using production systems to create reports can cause performance issues for users of the system, so that’s not a viable solution. Running reports off a readable copy of the production data makes for a fantastic alternative. This allows for the reporting systems having correct and actionable data, which can then be turned into actionable reports; all without putting any impact on the production, user (or customer) facing systems.
There are a couple of easy to document advantages to moving reports from production to a readable copy of the production system. The first advantage is tied to the fact that the schema is identical. Because the secondary is an exact duplicate of the schema that’s in production moving reporting off to that secondary copy is very easy. The reports just simply need to be moved and they will just work. The second big upside is the fact that production performance will increase as we have moved the reporting workload off production. From the DBA perspective, moving the reports off the production system will reduce IO requirements of the production system as well as locking and blocking that happens in the production system.
This gives us the best of both worlds; we get user-facing systems that are well-performing and we get the proper information that we can use to drive our business off of, allowing for good decision making. Once we have valid, actional, accurate information the employees at the business can make informed decisions, and not wild guesses. This will allow the business to thrive and allow the business to drive innovation in their sector.
Once businesses are able to thrive, they can do amazing things for the employees as well as their customers; all while driving probability for the business. All this comes from having true and accurate data; so that the informed decisions that are needed to drive the business forward can be made.
While solutions that can help drive these sorts of accurate reporting and therefore innovation can cost money to purchase and implement; however these shouldn’t be viewed as expenses but as an investment in the business that will, if implemented correctly, help the business grow and expand.