Sunday, November 25, 2012

Data warehouse design, are you really that special

Whenever I came across a project where a data warehouse design is required, I often hear the customer stressing the point that their business is unique to everyone else and that a custom designed data warehouse is required. Well, according to the Lens Silverston, the author to the book series "The Data Model Resource Book", there exists a generic data model for all business. Most customization would merely be additional fields in the entities, or in most cases I can imagine, the customization work will simply be determining which subset of the generic data model to include. [gallery] Neither him nor me are suggesting that everyone can suddenly become a data warehouse architect and implement data warehouses on the fly by just treating the books as the holy bible, but with that as a starting point plus some accurate understanding of the business requirements to the customer. One can save a lot of time on the actual datawarehouse design process. After all, the understanding of the business aspect is the key to a successful datawarehouse. We are trying out his idea in my current project as we are implementing the data warehouse based on the data model from the financial sector suggested in volume 2. Over the course of the project we will track how much it really satisfy the customer's need and how much customizations along the way that would deviate from the data model (our goal is none). With that in mind, let's take it one step further, for consultants who work in a specific field of business, how about coding the data model into a database project in Visual Studio as a template and make the customizations from it? Imagine how much time it would have saved?

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