External Models vs Pyramid Models

The Model tools provide a powerful set of capabilities when:

  • data models are not available for a given data stack;
  • when data needs to be fixed;
  • if users want to design and apply complex data logic like machine learning;
  • or if multiple data sources need to be blended ("mash-up").

In these scenarios, Pyramid's internal semantic data model layer provides a convenient way to consume the underlying data source and it comfortably matches the most powerful semantic data technologies in the market, especially when coupled with the calculation options of the Formulate tools.

However, in other scenarios when using external analytic technologies like Microsoft OLAP, SAP BW or SAP HANA, Pyramid data models do NOT need to be authored since Pyramid can directly consume these external data models as designed in those technologies - presenting the user with the full power and depth of those technologies through both Pyramid's querying and calculation tools.

Functional Differences

Importantly, Pyramid offers near identical functionality across both external and internal models to end users- covering every aspect of the platform including data visualizations, formulations, presentations and publications. This means the full depth of Pyramid's querying and calculation engines have been engineered to produce almost identical analytic outcomes without deprecating functionality.

Ultimately, this allows customers to be indifferent between the underlying technology stack driving any given BI project. In fact, it means users can jump between different visuals in the same dashboard, driven by different technologies, and not notice a difference in function or feature if the business and technical problem demanded a multi-data technology solution.

Administrative Differences

The main differences between external and internal models related primarily to admin settings. Typically, Pyramid offers stronger facilities to manage and secure its own models ; while it (rightly) assumes the managements and security of external data models will be handled by their own proprietary tools.