Every BI architecture needs a business layer of some kind. I think the business layer actually is the key to a successful BI system because it enables the business users to query and analyse the valuable data using their own terminology rather than the sometimes cryptic technical terminology. You should try to provide a business layer as early as possible in the life cycle of a BI project even if it is a very low level because your project will benefit in to ways:
1. There is a direct feed back to the business analysts and business users
2. You can involve the business side into the process of defining the business layer from the beginning
This way the project gets transparent to the business side and you can always check: "are we talking about the same thing? Is this really what we need?"
Creating a business layer can be as easy as providing the business terms and a simple description for data base tables and columns and it then can evolve during the project life cycle to become the basis for the reporting layer.
I am planning on blogging on some simple techniques for creating a business layer using SAS BI tools on different levels and mechanisms of automating the process.
So please stay tuned... and feel welcome to comment. Cheers