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:
The business analyst needs to be “in control” – IT has traditionally managed the data and application environments. In this custodial role, IT has controlled access and has gone through a rigorous process to ensure that data is managed and integrated as an enterprise asset. The time has arrived when business analytical elite need to assume data ownership, get access to data from across the enterprise, and augment that data with other data that that they feel is appropriate — all of their own volition. This does not mean they should abandon data governance and data quality efforts, rather, they should leverage them in the proper business context, i.e. when recurring, production-quality information is necessary.
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.