Developing Data Warehouses
Data Warehouses can provide a significant
benefit to a business, because it gives the people in the organization the
ability to find and react to problems and opportunities more
quickly. Unfortunately, for every Data Warehouse success story there
are for more expensive failures. The reasons are many, but some of
the key ones are:
- under estimating the complexity of the project.
As the span of the project increases to cover multiple functional areas
and business units, the complexity grows geometrically.
- Failure to understand the key element - the
data. Far to many implementations focus on a specific tool as
the key. Rather it's the data that's the key. Obtaining
the data, validating the data, rationalizing the data, setting up the
loads, etc. This is where most of work is needed and most of the
problems occur. A good ETL
tool like Copy Manager is invaluable
- Viewing it from an System Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
perspective. This is the proper way to view the development of
an accounting system or an order-ship-bill system. And while the
discipline is needed it can cause problems. One of the key
assumptions is that you have a straight line process - obtains
specifications, then develop units, test units, system test and roll
out. Unfortunately, the process needed is far more iterative in
nature. People can only give an approximation of the what they
need. So small short steps are needed rather than a large
- Organizations try to go from nothing to a complex
system in a single project. This is a recipe for failure.
Organizations that have active Decision Support Systems and other
analytical systems in place are far more likely to be successful than
those that none of these.
If your organization is considering a Data Warehouse
project we have the experience to develop and implement a successful
Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001 InfoDesign Inc. All rights reserved.
Revised: July 05, 2001
FOCUS, WebFOCUS, COPY MANAGER, IBI are all registered
trademarks of Information Builders, Inc., NY, NY