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I am working for a medium-sized development and construction company and we are looking to upgrade our data and BI. Currently, all project data is managed via Excel (data, project management, and performance) while financials are captured via Acumatica. We are in the process of adopting a true project management system (something like Procore) where the data will be hosted by the software company, but ultimately we want to bring all data into a tool like Power BI or Tableau to track performance and understand the state of the business at a glance.

I am wondering if there would be a benefit of connecting the Procore and Acumatica data to a data warehouse (Snowflake, Azure, etc.) and then have Power BI/Tableau query the data from there.

I'm not sure if anyone is familiar with those applications, but I'm more interested in the prospect of the organization storing data in this way without an in-house DBA to manage everything.

It looks like Procore can connect to Power BI through a native API, but I am not sure if that performance would be better or worse than Power BI connecting to the warehouse.

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  • "I'm not sure if anyone is familiar with those applications" Many people on this forum will be familiar with some of these tools, some people may be familiar with all of them. I think it would be helpful to know what your role is at the company and/or what technical experience you have.
    – JimmyJames
    Commented Jan 18 at 22:33

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where the data will be hosted by the software company

The problem with that approach is that you end up effectively undoing that arms-length cloud hosting when you want to draw things together for bespoke reporting, because the data ends up back in your possession for you to manage.

The real perceived advantage of most cloud hosting from a client perspective, is avoiding the need to retain staff who understand a particular application enough to keep it in working order, or understand a database enough to develop with it.

For small businesses (i.e. a one- or two-man band) who have one system and can't afford any full-time technical staff, having the provider manage everything is a boon.

But once you start having multiple systems to look after and extracting the data for bespoke reporting, you'll find you need all those technical staff again, not just to perform the practical work of configuration or development, but to retain the knowledge necessary to do the work and to orchestrate things in your particular business.

And as well as undoing part of what you're paying for with a cloud model, the provider also might well have your pants down just for letting you extract your own data.

Indeed it seems many cloud platforms are still in the subsidisation stage, where companies are going easy on the licensing charges to establish the popularity of the model, after which licensing prices will soar.

It's something to think carefully about.

I'm not sure if anyone is familiar with those applications, but I'm more interested in the prospect of the organization storing data in this way without an in-house DBA to manage everything.

For a setup of any complexity, you'll likely need internal technical staff to manage and oversee the technical setup, ongoingly.

If your reporting from each core system is simple (and always will be) and there isn't any need for integration of the data, you might be able to do without a data warehouse, and pipe data directly from core systems to Power BI.

But in my experience, you also find that core systems usually already have a simple reporting capability built-in, and people only consider facilities like Power BI when they have serious bespoke reporting needs which are not "simple" in the relevant sense.

Instead the needs are usually "complex" in that you need (at least) a real development environment with programming languages (at least SQL), and proper scheduling facilities. You might also need to think about test environments, source code management, credential management, network and data security, and so on. All this adds up to needing skilled staff.

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