Datawarehouse useful after all
On my way to the newly-reinstated annual journo/PR bash at the Cheshire Cheese, I stopped off to talk to Simon Wilkinson (head of IR Solutions at the London Stock Exchange, LSE; and Dan Norris-Jones (MD of Priocept) about their Corporate Responsibility Exchange platform.
Basically, this seems to be a hosted platform which serves as a single point of contact for stakeholders in a company, for accessing compliance and social responsibility info. Post the feeds once and everyone can get at them.
What immediately interested me, and might interest developers generally, is the use of hosted services - low cost of entry, low cost of exit if you don't like the service offered. This means high comfort levels for customers - and some risk for the vendor, with the promise of a profitable long-term relationship.
Another aspect which impressed me was the reuse of information - the info comes from an existing warehouse, so it is already validated. Security, audit trails etc are taken care of by existeing LSE systems. This means that customers customising their data delivery are buying into high-quality data and specialist "good practice". They can start small and scale up smoothly - all too often, companies encounter a period of high-risk chaos during their growth when they outgrow their initial systems and have to implent new, scalable, systems. Some don't survive.
The message for developers might be, "get the architecture right and you can churn out nice new systems on a production line". And it's good to see someone actually making use of a data warehouse, instead of wondering what to do with all that data...