Automation makes life easier for BI administrators. It's the "oil" that keeps the BI processes running smoothly week in and week out.
Using scripting, a "master" job controls everything from start to finish. This includes preparatory processing; the running of the SQL or tool-based
ETL datamart processes (e.g. initiating SQL Server SSIS packages); handling of error situations and automatic retries.
Automation: refreshes multi-dimensional cubes; publishes and distributes data extracts and reports;
consolidates log files; sends notifications or alerts to key users; does house-keeping of files and databases.
Do your staff prepare reports in Excel format ? You probably import data, do some copy/paste, change some reference values,
check and fix broken formulae, and distribute ?
Did it start off being quick and easy ? But now the job has grown, become more valuable, complex and fragile?
Automation frees staff from boring error-prone work, reduces the risk of things breaking while they're away, and gets information out sooner. For a smaller company,
smart automation can get functionality big companies get from high-tech BI solutions.