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March 20, 2008

5 things to Watch out for in Data Warehousing

Filed under: Data Cleansing, Data Integration, Data Quality, Data Warehousing — Tags: — Alena Semeshko @ 7:45 am

There’s been talk of the concept of data warehousing being misleading, failing to deliver efficient solutions at the enterprise level and frequently causing problems upon implementation. Problems like that, again, don’t come out of nowhere, there usually are good reasons behind them. In this post I’l try to sum up a few things you should definitely try to watch out for when tackling your data warehouses:

1) First and foremost – Data Quality. When your data is dirty, outdated and/or inconsistent upon entering the warehouse, the results you are gonna get won’t be any better, really. Data Warehousing is not supposed to deal with your erroneous data, it’s not supposed to perform data cleansing. These processes need to take place BEFORE your data gets even close to the warehouse, that I s, your data integration strategy needs to address low quality data problem.

2) Come to think of it, Data Integration is the second thing to watch out for. Do your integration tools live up to your requirements? Can your software handle the data volumes you have? Will it comply with the newly added to your warehouse source systems and subject areas? How high is the level of automation of your integration system? Can you avoid mannual intervention? You gotta ask yourself all of these questions before you complain that your warehous isn’t providing you with the quality of information you expected.

3) Next, dreaming too big. When you build sand castles you gotta realize they’ll disappear in a matter of days, even hours. Your can’t have it all and at the same time, you can’t have your pie and eat it too. Brreaking the project into small segments, giving them enough time to deliver and having patience is the key to having a pleasant experience with your data warehousing solution. What? Did you think you can fix all the mess in your data in a matter of days? =)

4) Then, don’t go rushing into solutions. Don’t panic. Yes, warehouse projects require time and effort on your part. Yes, it’s gonna be complicated at first. But that’s not the reason to stop with one project and rush into another. Stick with your first choice, fix it, work on it. Multiple projects will waste your resources and end up as another silo aimlessly taking up your corporate resources.

5) Finally, make sure you have a scalable architecture that you can redesign according to your increasing needs. Your business grows, sometimes grows quicker than you think (the number of customers increases, they have more information, more data to be processed) and you want your solution to continue to perform on the same level and live up to your expectations.

The list goes on actually, as there are more things to watch out for… but these are the first that come to mind. =)

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