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The Business Intelligence Balancing Act: Get a Grip on Big Data

by Dr. Werner Hopf

October 1, 2013

Not all data is created equal. In this article Werner Hopf, CEO of Dolphin, explains the different value certain data types have in your organization and how prioritizing them can improve your overall BI strategy.



The promise of never-before-seen insights and previously unattainable analytics is a driving factor behind the rapidly evolving proliferation of big data. Senior decision makers from across the business unit — from finance and marketing, to product development and sales, and all the way up to the C-suite — are enthusiastic, excited, and empowered by the business opportunities offered by big data.

Although big data can provide an important competitive advantage, “he who has the most data” is not guaranteed to succeed. An unexpected result of the big data boom is uncontrollable data growth, which chokes processing speeds and exposes performance bottlenecks in the ways corporations analyze, access, and retain important information. Not all data is created equal, and companies must strike a balance to effectively support business intelligence (BI) initiatives, without letting infrastructure budgets grow too large.

Not All Data Is Created Equal: Building a Data Archiving Strategy

The key to ensuring optimal BI performance is to reduce and organize the data that populates your business warehouse (BW) system. Accomplishing this objective requires the implementation of several archiving and complementary data management strategies across all transactional source systems and the BW system. At the core of this approach is a robust data archiving strategy, which also helps ensure predictable total cost of ownership for newer in-memory technologies that are already acknowledged as more costly — and more capable.


With advances in the ways to analyze big data, businesses are at the threshold of incredible insight, but first they must create a data environment in which the full potential of data
can be harnessed.

Optimizing BI performance starts with recognizing that certain data is more valuable than other information. Understanding the specific value that different data types have for an organization becomes an important facilitator to more effectively harnessing and maintaining a lean and effective BW system. Dolphin and a number of its customers have achieved success in moving large amounts of static data — information that is accessed only occasionally — to a lower-cost, high-performance nearline storage (NLS) environment, complementing both the SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse (SAP NetWeaver BW) environment and SAP HANA’s in-memory architecture.  

NLS is a cost-effective, scalable option for storing large volumes of data. It is a critical component of a data archiving strategy that supports compliance to further ensure the right balance between performance and storage costs. Dolphin also provides transparent access to data and the ability to maintain database size and growth through archiving processes.

However, once data is archived, it still needs to be managed until it reaches its “end of life” and can be safely eliminated or retired. Dolphin’s Archive Retention Cockpit (ARC) solution addresses this challenge and is a portal to manage the retention and end-of-life disposition of documents and data in SAP applications.1 It is compliance-driven, is built on SAP technology, and supports any ArchiveLink-certified repository. In addition, the ARC solution supports audit requests and discovery. Management teams can find records based on a variety of criteria, including open hold orders. This legal hold order function automatically excludes records from destruction if there is pending litigation.

Harness the Full Potential of Big Data

With advances in the ways to analyze big data, businesses are at the threshold of incredible insight, but first they must create a data environment in which the full potential of data can be harnessed. For many companies, this means formalizing better data management processes and adopting data governance capabilities.

As a proven SAP partner, Dolphin can assist in implementing a data management infrastructure that will not only maximize BI opportunities, but also minimize the cost and risks associated with achieving them. Learn more at


1 For more information about the Archive Retention Cockpit, visit

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Werner Hopf
Dr. Werner Hopf

Chief Executive Officer
Dolphin Enterprise Solutions Corporation

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