Crucial Requirements For Successful Data Warehouses
There are certain requirements that companies need to meet if they wish to use their data warehouses effectively. When data warehouses were first introduced in the 1990s, many companies placed an emphasis on defining the data warehouse as a system that was distinct from a standard operational system.
This view was shared by many companies, and the data warehouse was also seen as being a centralized copy of data that is operational. However, over the last decade, many companies have been to change their perspectives on how they see data warehouses. The 1990s were a decade of trial and error. While there were many successes, there were many more failures.
One of the things that has improved the data warehouse industry is the increasing computer processing power. Technology has also advanced to the point where OLAP engines can focus on pulling out the data rather than placing it within the data warehouse. It should also be noted that the field of dimensional modeling has greatly improved over the last decade. To succeed in the current market, companies need to understand the requirements they must meet if they want their data warehouses to be successful. The first thing companies will want to do is go from a centralized development strategy to one that is decentralized. In addition to this, the development should also be incremental.
One thing that companies must realize is that it is inevitable that smaller departments will create their own small warehouses. Because this practice cannot be stopped, it is important for companies to create a framework which allows these departments to share their information with the rest of the company. Remember, the goal of a data warehouse is to give a view of the company as a whole. Even though individual departments will need their own small warehouses to answer crucial questions, this information should be made available to the rest of the company. Despite this, a department must be able to design their data marts in a unique way.
The second requirement that companies will want to meet is the ability to deal with changes when they occur. The only thing that remains constant is change, and a company must prepare for this. The data warehouse should be constructed in a way that allows it to evolve. It will be frustrating and tedious to have to change the schemas every time the company needs to adjust to a new change. A company must be able to add additional information to their data warehouse without having to modify any of its components. Once this is done, the company can add new information to their system without having to make tedious changes, and they can focus on more important issues.
The third requirement that companies will want to meet is rapid implementation. This follows closely to building a system that is decentralized rather than centralized. In the past, it took companies months and sometimes years to build a data warehouse that was centralized. This greatly increased the costs involved with building the system, and the company wasted a great deal of time. By using rapid deployment, the data warehouse can be constructed in pieces, and it can be done much faster with a high level of efficiency. To do this rapidly, all the parts of the data warehouse should use the same structure.
Once this is done, it will be much easier for the company to construct the parts and index them. Querying the parts would also become much easier. The fourth requirement that companies will need to have is the ability to easily drill to the most basic form of atomic data.
The vast majority of data marts in the company will need to use atomic data, and it is important for departments to access this information without having to give their employees a great deal of training. Another requirement that a company must have are data marts that when combined can create the totality of the data warehouse. The data marts should be comprised of the fundamental atomic data, because it is inefficient to replicate the data measurements throughout the company.
It is also important for companies to make sure they data warehouses are available 24 hours a day. In the past, data warehouses would be down for certain periods of time, and this led to a lack of efficiency. Having the data warehouses online 24 hours a day allows the company to be highly efficient.