Things to Plan For When Designing a Data Warehouse by toriola1


									                                               Presented by Daniel Toriola

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                                   Things to Plan For When Designing a Data Warehouse
                                                              By Brian May

   The basic idea behind having a data warehouse is to capture information from different parts of a
business process and gather them all in a centralized database. We can define data warehouse as the
collection of data and how it is used by the individuals of the company whom it supports. There is an
immense amount of intelligence to be gained by your business by thoroughly analyzing the data that
your customers provide. It helps you to make wise business decisions that will have an impact on your
business for years to come.

 There was a time when the demands of the company processes were unable to meet with their
operational systems, which led to the evolution of data warehouses. This necessity generated the need
to create separate databases to support decision making information for management. Today, most of
the businesses take the help of data warehousing to create and maintain information for making it
accessible to all the departments within the company.

 With the help of data warehouses, management and businesses can analyze data to fill the need of
subject oriented concepts. If you are planning for starting a data warehousing project, there is a need
to consider following points:

Get Professional Advice

 Taking the advice of somebody already involved in data warehouse designing process will save your
time and money. Besides saving endless meeting times, the risk of an abandon data warehousing
project also gets reduced.

Plan the Data

 Find out all the metrics you would want to measure in the data warehouse and make sure there is an
appropriate data for analysis. In case you want to get periodic Key Performance Index (KPI) data for
logistics, it is necessary that appropriate data is piped into the data warehouse.

Primary Users of the Data Warehouse

Business and financial managers are regarded as the power data warehouse consumers. The main

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                                               Presented by Daniel Toriola

motive of data warehouse is to give clear indications about the performance of the business. Make a
list of expected users of the data warehouse and ensure that they get appropriate reports in an
understandable format. It is always better to conduct planning exercises in advance to tell how data
warehouse would be used. Make it a point that data warehouse is attractively presented in such a
format where business managers find it comfortable to use. Avoid text files with lines of numbers.

Integration to External Applications

 The success of a data warehouse project depends on its ability to extract the data from all the external
applications. Most of the enterprises either develop in house applications or get them from a vendor. A
data warehouse is heart of all these applications, where the information flows in or out of it.

 The success of a data warehouse is not guaranteed for every product. As the technique can become
complicated or enormous, there are chances of failure and errors. Therefore, you must take care of all
the above discussed things while getting a data warehouse developed for a smooth and non
complicated functioning of the organization.

This article was written by Brian May who is very knowledgeable about data warehousing and has
worked with many companies that offer data warehouse consulting. To find out more information,
please visit

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                                          Presented by Daniel Toriola

                                      Designing a Top Notch Data Warehouse
                                                         By Brian May

A data warehouse gives its users a common data model for all the data of interest without bothering
about the source of the data. This makes it easier for users to report and analyze the information for
sales invoices, general ledger charges and other tasks. A data warehouse can also work in
conjunction, which enhances the value of operational business applications and customer relationship
management systems.

 Designing and implementing a data warehouse in not an easy thing as lot of focus and importance is
attached to it. If you are the designer of the data warehouse, you could be asked to take all the
enterprise data and make a data warehouse where the management would get all the answers to their
queries. This is something tough but equally exciting and visible.

 The two main parts of designing a data warehouse is how to start it and where to start. The toughest
part is to bring down the scope of the vast project to something smaller, manageable yet scalable. In
recent time, the trend of building data marts before making the real data warehouse is popular
amongst developers. We always prefer to have something smaller to manage things before proceeding
to the real warehouse.

Here are the nine methods you can follow for designing a flawless data warehouse:

• Choose the subject matter on which the data warehouse has to be designed.
• Decide what all would the fact table represent.
• Identify the dimensions of the design and confirm them.
• Choose the facts.
• Do pre-calculations and store them in the fact table.
• Properly define definitions and tables.
• Find the duration of the database and the periodicity of up gradation.
• Slowly track the changes in dimension.
• Decide the query priorities and their modes.

 The last step is to implement a simple data warehouse or a data mart. Always remember that your
approach should be from simpler to complex. Initially only a few data marts are identified, designed
and implemented that will gradually lead to the designing of a complete data warehouse.

Technology Considerations

 There are a few technological issues that one should consider while designing and implementing a
data warehouse:

• Hardware platforms for data warehouse.
• System management and operating system platforms.
• DBMS for supporting data warehouse.
• Software tools for building, operating and using the warehouse.
• Communication and network infrastructure.

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                                                 Presented by Daniel Toriola

 Financial consideration should also be given because the implementation of a data warehousing
system is very time consuming and expensive. It requires heavy involvement from a lot of resources in
your company and will require manipulation of data in order to get the correct formatting required to be
effective. Many people fail to calculate the full cost of a data warehousing implementation which
causes the company to far exceed their budget while the project is only half complete. In order to
effectively estimate costs for the implementation, people must also be calculated along with technology
and hardware. Without including employee time, you will grossly underestimate the costs.

This article was written by Brian May who is very knowledgeable about data warehousing and has
worked with many companies that offer data warehouse consulting. To find out more information,
please visit

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                                               Presented by Daniel Toriola

Related eBooks:

Designing a Top Notch Data Warehouse
Introducing Six Sigma Strategy in Data Warehousing
Why do we Need Data Warehousing?
Tips to Consider Before Choosing a Data Warehouse Vendor
Initial Developmental Steps for Database Design Process

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