Measuring models to make integration easier

Technological developments like HANA and the continuous price decreases in RAM-memory allows us to process larger amounts of data faster, which enables us to create more complex models. Information systems integrate more and more, causing an increase in complexity and mutual dependency. This progress has many advantages, but it also brings challenges.


In the world of modeling, we used to be limited by the maximum size of the model. With the progress of technology, that limit has disappeared. Additions can be done on the fly, and there are unprecedented possibilities in analysis; technology is no longer pulling the brakes on the complexity of the data model.

A new limiting factor

Therefore, a new limiting factor is needed, otherwise you will lose focus and users will not understand the results of the calculations. The new limiting factor is not technological, but rather human. It will be in your own mind. This takes us to a hybrid model, in which you take advantage of technology, if you choose a clear information strategy.

Reporting booklets are made based on data layers, in which all systems come together. Even when an element in one of the systems changes the results in the reporting booklet still have to be correct and reliable. An apparently easy request to change the week numbers might disrupt all the connected systems.

Standardize where possible

While measuring out my floor I learned that every extra meter of floor would match exactly with the next size beam. This only works though, if you use the standard sizes at the DIY shop.

This standardization also makes life easier in the world of information. However, this demands sufficient attention from the people in finance, maintenance and IT. To make the right distinction between ‘this will fit in the standard model with a small process change’ and ‘this standardization will go at the expense of the process’, financials need sufficient knowledge of IT and the information architecture.

Consequences for support

Far-reaching integration has consequences for the support of your financial applications. Every organization goes through change: changes in organization, changes in information needs and changes in technology. These have to be processed in the financial systems. We witness more and more that an adjustment in one system does not only affect the system concerned, but also impacts other applications.

Benefit from integration

In order to really benefit from the integration possibilities that systems offer, you need a clear information model and be careful not to customize too much. Ensure finance is involved in the design of the information model. This allows you to use the newest technological developments to their full potential, and to obtain better management information with less effort.

Text: Wietse Mol

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