DSA and Importing Data from MS Excel and/or MS Access

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Intro

There are two main ways to bring MS Excel and/or MS Access information into DSA client tools:

  • Import the data via DSA ultralight data warehouse;
  • Import the data directly to a desktop client using Tableau regular licenses.

Both approaches have pros and cons discussed below.

Import via Ultralight Data Warehouse

Pros:

  • The data integration process is validated by technical users. It's common to find data integrity issues and inaccurate information coming from Excel or Access sources. In the long run, this often proves to be the most important benefit of this approach.
  • Licenses cost is usually lower.
  • The process to import and refresh such data into the ultralight data warehouse is quick and easy.
  • These data sources can be refreshed (re-imported) by running a simple batch file on the DSA server and/or by an automatic scheduled procedure.

Cons:

  • Business users will have to request IT to do a one-time procedure of integrating the data on the server before they can do analytics from it.
  • IT must have basic knowledge of MS SQL Server tables and views in order to do the job.


Import Using Tableau Regular Licenses

Pros:

  • Business users can bring data into the analytics client by themselves.
  • Business users can do the refresh of data by themselves.

Cons:

  • Licenses cost is usually higher, in some cases significantly higher.
  • Inconsistent or incorrect data may be factored into reports and dashboards. You increase the risk of losing the "one version of the truth". In the long run, this can prove to be a costly issue affecting your decision making process.