How to Build Your First Data Warehouse Like a Boss. Part 3/3 The How’s and Why’s of a Data Warehouse

“He who has a why can deal with any what or how.” –Stephen Covey

In this last instalment of this series, we focus on the raison d’être of your data warehouse. We’ll walk you through a series of questions to help you design your data warehouse tech stack better.

What You’ll Learn

Gap Assessments

Aside from time constraints, gap reports can be messy and overwhelming. Some people like to throw around blame, and things can get political. It is, therefore, vital for stakeholders to approach an assessment activity such as this with neutral objectivity.

At the end of the day, everyone is on the same team, and we all want to see your organisation succeed. The mindset should be this: information is always an asset. Regardless of what the assessment reveals, it’s a good thing. If we can recognise the problem, we can always fix it.

A gap report presents our goals and aspirations for our project, honest recognition of where we currently are, and the steps to reach our goals. For a data warehouse, there are four quadrants to consider when creating a gap assessment:

Let’s dive in.

Business Needs

A conversation can begin with these prompts:

Data Architecture

Technical Architecture

This quadrant looks at hardware, software and network infrastructure and examines physical database designs. Technical architecture assessment seeks to identify performance, maintenance, scalability, data distribution, disaster recovery, and sizing issues. This assessment also aims to identify opportunities to leverage the value of existing technology. Existing software and tools are re-examined to determine their overall fit to the business and technical environments.

Some of the key questions related to technical architecture include:

Methodology and Project Management

This quadrant assesses the ability of an organisation to begin a project and ensure its delivery. It looks into the procedures and process to manage requirements, changes and issues.

Organisation

This quadrant involves the assessment of the necessary roles and responsibilities of IT and business users. It reviews the readiness of the organisation to assume responsibility of the operation, maintenance and continuous upgrades required for the data warehouse to continually bring value to the organisation over time.

By answering these questions, you’re well on your way to understanding your organisation’s data warehouse requirements.

By identifying the gaps between your company’s current state and where it wants to be, a roadmap can be created to reach your goals in a reasonable timeframe. Choices on tools and the right data warehouse components should be easier to decide on now that you’ve considered these questions.

We recommend trying to build demos or proof of concepts on a small scale to see if a certain technology does meet your requirements.

Conclusion

Selecting the right components of a data warehouse is not easy. A thorough assessment could prevent you from making wrong decisions that could cost you down the line. Regardless of your data warehouse’s maturity – if you’re just starting or are years into it – it’s a good idea to assess and reassess your data warehouse’s design and performance periodically.

This is something that we don’t take lightly at MyDataforce. We want you to take the necessary time to understand your underlying needs fully. We aren’t just a vendor; we are your strategic partner to help you understand your business data needs and manage them more efficiently. The design of your data warehouse is more than half of the work. Implementation should be the easy part.
At MyDataforce, our years of experience has allowed us to create the necessary tools and templates to complete a thorough assessment of your company’s data warehousing requirements.
Contact us today to start your data warehouse conversation.

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