Some of the questions you're asking here are much deeper and have many more layers than a simple forum answer can assist with. It seems from your post that you've already looked through forums and blogs on the topic. This might be something you bring a consultant in for in order to better assist as the correct workflow might be based off of proprietary information. Sometimes you do X when you have a certain set of conditions and other times you might do Y or Z. This is by no means a sales platform but I'm quite certain the company I'm part of or even our competitors in the area would be happy to have a more detailed conversation with you.
Currently what you've posted is correct in a nutshell. Single source of truth = published datasource. However keep in mind that I can connect to this datasource and filter things off, change calculations, or add some and save over it if you give me rights to do so or save it as its cousin if you will with a slightly different name.
The pain in pushing from dev to prod is something that is a known cause of strife and pain. InterWorks developed a tool to handle this grunt work for you. It also allows you to push without hassle and update datasources between different sites/servers/projects as desired. If you'd like to know more about this product or other offerings I would be happy to provide links or the appropriate introductions.