Its an interesting time for me and the rest of us at Thoughtcorp we continue to help organizations in innovative ways, using innovative techniques to deliver them. Over the past few years I have seen changes to the way systems are envisioned and how they are realized. So it also made me look at how I build data warehouse and reporting solutions today in 2011.
When I first began building reporting systems; they were not even call data warehouses yet. I build a system to do call detail analysis for a telecommunications company using SQL*Plus as its reporting tool. Today I build systems that focus on providing business value and business insights. The key to build a flexible and reliable system which provide data in an easy to consume manner. We have converted tons of paper reporting into dashboards, Key Performance Indicators, modeling and other reporting capabilities which allow business to react to change and anticipate trends. Today organizations which do not have data warehouse technology in some form will quickly become business laggards.
So what has changed is how we deliver solutions. The key for a successful data warehouse/reporting solution is that the information provided in the required format provides the necessary information to create an action which will enhance the business. So the involvement of the stakeholders and users drive much of this. Based on information required in the business processes we design the warehouse to service these needs efficiently. However, in the “old” days we would build the entire data warehouse and expect that what we built will satisfy the requirements. Today by building using Agile techniques we build in smaller self-contained development unit which address all aspects including data, loading and reporting to provide quick wins an help the people get the product in their hands to work into a better solution.Today the biggest difference is data warehouse architects do not assume the solution, but build a framework in which a system can develop to meet needs and drive innovation and change. So out with the Big Bang data warehouse and in with the Agile Data Warehouse or DW 2.0.11.