An Excel spreadsheet can produce detailed charts, graphs, and pivot tables. While these ways of displaying data are powerful in its own way, they are actually simplistic compared to the advanced business data modeling techniques that now exist. Data modeling in its advanced form has now become a key business tool that helps to identify trends from data that may seem disparate when displayed only in the relatively primitive charts and graphs available through spreadsheet programs.
One challenge associated with advanced data modeling is that the process uses highly specialized software. Typically, business owners and executives are unfamiliar with this software; they may not even realize what leaps forward data modeling has taken since Excel was the ‘new kid on the block’. This challenge is easily solved through a project work or staff augmentation approach. In these models for IT services, a small or medium-sized business contracts with an IT company, typically an IT consulting firm that employs specialists from many diverse field.
These specialists can work alongside regular staff on an ongoing basis, performing data modeling using key company information and helping other workers learn how to interpret the information produced, which may use unfamiliar visual structures such as online analytical processing cubes. Alternatively, a data modeling project could be structured as project work in which a team produces a specified set of models that a company needs to make a key decision. Project work is often of short duration while a staff augmentation model may be more common when a company sees data modeling as a permanent part of workflow.