Our company has always struggled in terms of accurate and timely reporting. The primary reason is that our principal operational system has evolved over the past 20 years and is in an archaic flat file structure. We have had a few attempts at developing a Data Warehouse, but they have only been mildly successful, due mainly to the businesses need to have access to more real time data. We have decided to switch directions slightly and develop an Operational Data Store to facilitate near real time reporting for operational decisions. Most of the information that I have found online (i.e. IBM Redbooks, seem to be written in the early part of the decade (stack overflow does not have a single question in regards to this subject) which is starting to make me wonder if this is an approach that is not leveraged by many. Our plan for implementing this structure would be to first develop an enterprise data model for a specific area in the business and then design the physical and logical database model. We would like to use this structure for tactical operational reporting but would also like to use this system in order to allow other applications to access a common repository for common data that is required across the company (i.e. Customer files, facility locations, etc). What I would like to know is, is this a common solution for our problem, have others out there implemented this successfully, and are there any more up to date references that would be beneficial to review?


Yes. It's called a data warehouse. But you don't need specialised data wh product to achieve that.
Most modern rdbms can play that role, if you don't plan to have huge databases.


Regardless of the tool/vendor that you use, you will have to model your information first. A solid conceptual and logical model that captures what your business does. Next, do you want analytical queries on your data ? If so, decide what are your facts and measures, and your dimensions.

I think no tool can automate the above tasks because those are the very initial ideas behind your business domain - you and your users know them. These will make your life easier.