Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Building Data Warehouses for the Masses

Often data warehouse designers and architects are often accused of building systems which do not always serve the enterprise but only focused portions of the organization. I have seen this occur at numerous clients who did not invest in a long-term vision and long-term data strategy.

So how do we avoid this trap and ensure that we produce a system which does not go “silo” but sets a course to meet current and future needs at the enterprise level and not departmentally. I was recently working on a presentation about data warehousing design and the question of Ralph Kimball (Dimensional) versus Bill Inmon’s (Normalized) design approach of which is better. The question is that both work, if you keep to the big picture. Design your high-level design upfront and adhere to design and development standards, It is about setting a clear course for DW design and never allowing for an independent or silo’ed solution to be developed. The key is to always look for integration opportunities. Add to your core data warehouse; don’t built a new structure which is not tied in and used conformed dimensions.

Bill Inmon, said in referring to Dimensional modeling that “A 1000 minnows do not make a whale”. Build with a great purpose in mind  that you are building an integrated, stable data repository to support business reporting and analytics.


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