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Re: Oracle - MS Access - Does your company have a policy about local vs. centralized data storage? (Perhaps a bit off topic?)

From: Niall Litchfield <>
Date: Thu, 5 Jul 2007 15:24:42 +0100
Message-ID: <>

Great story Ken and a good example of the value of 'single point of truth'. I'm glad you mentioned excel as well, since my experience is that that is even more widely distributed and to people whose skills are even further removed from data analysis. Spreadsheets get taken to meetings, in print form, as well.

of course if the $6m error had been the other way around perhaps the DW project would have been canned


On 7/5/07, Ken Naim <> wrote:
> Access (and excel) has been the bane of one of my clients existence, as
> many
> bad reports have come out of them, and while they are not banned they are
> highly discouraged and are being replaced by a central oracle data
> warehouse
> that I built. Once a data mart is built for a purpose that an access
> database was used for in the past any feeds that were used to supply data
> into access is stopped, hopefully forcing people to use the warehouse.
> We store data at our most granular level in the data marts and we use
> business objects as a front end tool while it has numerous flaws, one of
> them works to our advantage. Out of the box it does support exporting to a
> text file so data has to be aggregated to some degree before it can be
> extracted as excel still only support 65k rows.
> We discourage access databases by not supporting their reports. While this
> was a drastic measure, it was necessary as some diehards used to say that
> the warehouse was wrong and their access reports were correct which made
> management reluctant to use the warehouse. And after repeated validations
> of
> the warehouse and deciphering and disproving of the access data and
> reports
> all the diehards either quit or switched to the warehouse.
> One of the first datamarts, originally built using SAS, found a reporting
> issue that correct a several basis point error that had been accumulation
> over the 14 year history of the company and added $6 million to the bottom
> line for that year; paying for the warehouse project for that and many
> years
> to come.
> Ken Naim
> -----Original Message-----
> From: []
> On Behalf Of Robert Freeman
> Sent: Wednesday, July 04, 2007 2:33 PM
> To:
> Subject: Oracle - MS Access - Does your company have a policy about local
> vs. centralized data storage? (Perhaps a bit off topic?)
> I'm trying to do a bit of research in my effort to put together a project
> to
> move from localized to centralized data storage for Access applications
> and
> other ODBC type things. I'm just wondering if any of you have any related
> policies at your companies? Do you allow localized Access data stores or
> do
> you centralize those data stores? I'm looking at allowing access
> applications, but providing a means to easily request/create a data store
> for those applications in Oracle.
> Thoughts?
> RF
> Robert G. Freeman
> Oracle Consultant/DBA/Author
> Principal Engineer/Team Manager
> The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
> Father of Five, Husband of One,
> Author of various geeky computer titles
> from Osborne/McGraw Hill (Oracle Press)
> Oracle Database 11g New Features Now Available for Pre-sales on
> !
> Sig V1.1
> --
> --

Niall Litchfield
Oracle DBA

Received on Thu Jul 05 2007 - 09:24:42 CDT

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