Data Warehouse: Should You Build or Buy?

Data warehouse projects are complex and demand a variety of skills to build and maintain. The upfront work: gathering reporting requirements, defining data models, and creating the metadata that catalogs the content of the data warehouse is a huge undertaking. It’s not uncommon for users to have difficulty articulating their reporting needs, so just getting a project off the ground can be a hurdle.

One of the most technically challenging and labor intensive parts of a custom data warehouse project is writing the data extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL) code — mapping tens of thousands of columns from various source systems into the data warehouse. The ETL architecture should be able to not only load historical data, but also efficiently identify changes and deletions in order to quickly update the data warehouse on a timely basis.

While many reports may only need data that is current as of last night, an operational data store may be necessary to address near real-time reporting requirements to avoid bogging down the transaction system.

Integrating a custom data warehouse with an organization’s BI platform involves the time-consuming process of defining the semantic layer metadata that enables users to build reports and dashboards.

Before you make a decision, consider the following issues:

Initial Costs and Time-to-Value

A prebuilt data warehouse or packaged analytics solution costs much less than a custom-designed data warehouse and can be implemented in a fraction of the time. Custom-built solutions are resource-intensive and timelines often stretch from weeks into months, and from months into years.

Magnitude RapidDecision and Magnitude Noetix Analytics:

  • Cost 70 to 90 percent less than a custom implementation
  • Have an implementation time of weeks, not months or years
  • Saves countless development hours and costs with prebuilt dashboards and report
  • Provides broad prebuilt BI content for Oracle E-Business Suite, JD Edwards, and PeopleSoft (RapidDecision Coverage  |   Noetix Analytics Coverage)

IT Knowledge Required

Because data warehouses need current information – not information updated daily or weekly – customers who design a custom data warehouse require deep skills in the following areas:

  • Data warehouse design
  • Business intelligence (BI) requirements
  • Database architecture, design, development, and administration
  • Extract, transfer and load (ETL) including change data capture (CDC) architecture, design and development
  • Real-time design optimization

The Magnitude Software Professional Services Team has implemented hundreds of data warehouses for industry-leading brands. With Magnitude, you can leverage our deep knowledge in a wide variety of subject areas, such as real-time design or performance optimization, rather than having to develop this expertise yourself.

ERP Knowledge Required

Magnitude provides the broadest out-of-the-box support for multiple ERP systems, versions and past releases. This eliminates the need for you to deeply understand the internal workings of these systems.

Ongoing Maintenance Costs

In-house development teams don’t often stop to consider a solution’s sustainability – how upgrades and ongoing maintenance will be handled. Magnitude provides ERP upgrade protection, shielding your reports and queries from changes in new versions and releases.


Magnitude’s open architecture enables you to choose the BI tools or databases that best fit your unique business environment.

  • JDE Enterprise One
  • JDE World
  • EBS
  • PeopleSoft
  • 23 available marts
  • 23 available marts
  • 7,000 available marts
  • 5 available marts
  • 300,000+ mappings
  • 275,000+ mappings
  • 84,000+ mappings
  • 60,000+ mappings
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Cost Estimator

Build or Buy? That is the question. Download our Cost Calculator to compare costs.

“RapidDecision turned a two-day process to export, massage and validate data from EnterpriseOne into a 30-second, push-button refresh. We have so many examples of report generation that have been condensed from days or hours into minutes or seconds.”

Chris Sinkwitz
Director of IT
Meritage Homes

“Our measure of success is not just the installation component, but also time spent developing reports has decreased by 80 percent since the Noetix deployment.”

Deepak Kaul
Director of Change Management & Process Improvement
Zebra Technologies

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