When creating analytical sandboxes for business users, keep the following design principle in mind to help ensure you provide the right environment for your enterprise:
Data across the enterprise needs to be accessible and timely – Business analytics is inhibited by the difficulty in accessing data across an enterprise and by the length of time it takes to get that data integrated. Business needs to operate and react to constantly changing conditions, so timely access to data scattered across an enterprise is necessary to make more informed decisions, even if the data in not “perfect.” The analytical sandbox needs to enable timely access across data silos and provide business people with an integrated view of the best data that is available at the time of analysis. This view will be a mix of physically or virtually integrated data to expedite time-to-analysis and avoid the productivity and error-prone trap of data shadow systems.
To read four more suggestions for analytical sandbox architecture plus detailed architecture options and advice, see the white paper Analytics Best Practices: The Analytical Sandbox.