We currently have 3 similar, but slightly different applications that use the same data. We load the (same) data into each application that uses it. The applications are similar and use the same technology (Ruby on Rails) but were developed by different programmers.
In consolidating this data, our management seem the benefit to using the same tools (gems, modules, etc) but does not seem aware of many other reasons why we should consolidate things centrally.
I've worked in several different organizations including one position in Data Warehousing so the centralization of data seems like a no-brainer to me.
The life-cycle of the data is the following year for the current paying customer, but then also longer term as we get the data from the various organizations that have it, over the years, and we'll want to compare one org and one year to others.
However I want to put together a list of all the reasons to centralize (or not) this set of data. So far I have:
reduce duplication of effort. When we implement a function we currently may have to do it in two places, increasing both the effort to implement the function in two places and also the cost of writing it twice.
Quality of data. Creating two data set that have similar but different contents will lead to discrepencies between the two that will grow over time, reducing the value of the data.
I am looking for a list of other reasons, particularly those that relate to the overall cost.