Joe Oates

Joe Oates is an internationally known speaker, author and consultant on data warehousing. Oates has more than 30 years of experience in the successful management and technical development of business, real-time and data warehouse applications for industry and government clients. He has designed or helped design and implement more than 30 successful data warehouse projects.

Recent Stories From this Author

Can data warehouses be designed to cover all possible queries on dimensions that we throw at it without providing a list of reports to an IT department?
March 7, 2008 First of all, some reports can be predicted. The reports users get today that will be satisfied by the data warehouse will...

When is it better to have normalized data to create data marts and when is it better to have dimensional data?
March 7, 2008 Hoping not be bombarded by emails, I still don’t get the difference between Kimball’s and Inmon’s approach.

Do you think a company is inefficient if they have more than 20 KPIs?
January 3, 2008 A well-designed set of KPIs is hierarchical. By this I mean that the top level KPIs are derived from lower level KPIs.

With respect to ETL integration from one system to the other, what steps needs to be considered when planning an aquisition or merger?
January 3, 2008 I am assuming that you are referring to integrating new systems acquired with the merger or acquisition in a data warehouse,...

How can I enhance the productivity of my fact table load?
November 5, 2007 The time required to load a million records seems excessive. For example, on a dual processor, dual core server with 32 GB of...

Are there any templates, checklists or questions to consider that would assist in prioritizing the various projects/initiatives required by data warehouse clients?
November 1, 2007 I can, however, share with you an approach that has worked very well. This is a variation of the Kepner-Tregoe decision...

When do you use a star schema and when to use a snowflake schema?
November 1, 2007 My personal opinion is to use the star by default, but if the product you are using for the business community prefers a...

What are the questions to be asked by a business analyst when gathering requirements for EDW extracts or data marts or sources to EDW?
September 4, 2007

Where do I start with the charter to create a BI team, and will this work since the warehouse and other BI tools (such as ETL) are on a different team?
September 4, 2007

What are the various key performance indicators (KPIs) that a company dealing in insurance should concentrate on?
September 4, 2007

Can you provide an-depth process/procedure for performance testing with respect to ETL/reports?
June 1, 2007

Is there an industry standard estimation methodology available for the data modeling of a data warehouse?
April 2, 2007

Are there any tradeoffs between stability versus flexibility during data warehouse design?
April 2, 2007

What is the difference between data warehouse testing and conventional testing?
April 2, 2007

What is the best data modeling approach for a staging area?
February 1, 2007

Please suggest some hints/methodology to help us redesign the data model which will make all the reports obsolete.
February 1, 2007

How do other companies vet report requests from internal customers when rolling out the DW?
February 1, 2007

Are there any industry standards or best practices regarding how to handle vendor solutions specifically pertaining to conformation to an organization's information architecture standards?
February 1, 2007

Are dimension tables for a DW the same as those in a OLTP system?
January 2, 2007

Can you provide some questions to ask when creating the requirements for a new warehouse?
December 7, 2006

What are the pros and cons of having a data mart as a separate instance instead of with a data warehouse?
December 7, 2006

Please explain the difference between a point solution and an enterpise-wide solution.
December 7, 2006

Is there a defined practical methodology that is helpful in implementing a data warehouse?
December 6, 2006

Can there be eight fact tables in a star schema?
October 3, 2006

What is the purpose and role of dimensional modeling during data warehouse development process?
October 2, 2006

Ask the Experts
May 26, 2006 What is the current state of data warehousing and data mining?

Ask the Experts
May 19, 2006 Should knowledge made available through the use of data warehouses be disseminated to all employees in the organization?

Ask the Experts
May 12, 2006 Today's question: What would you recommend for a method to set up a central business intelligence competence center in an...

Can we have data marts which have the same structure but at different locations?
May 11, 2006

When is the appropriate time to load stored procedures?
May 11, 2006

Should we load null values into the data warehouse?
May 11, 2006

Do you feel that knowledge made available through the use of data warehouses should be disseminated to all employees in the organization?
May 11, 2006

How would you generate a report that shows non-events in a fact table?
February 7, 2006

What method would you recommend to set up a central business intelligence competence center?
February 7, 2006

Is there any database management system which supports temporal databases?
January 3, 2006

What is the relevance of a work breakdown structure in a data warehouse project?
January 3, 2006

Shouldn't the data administrator be able to glean data requirements from documented functional requirements rather than having to essentially re-interview the business folks?
September 19, 2005

What is the relationship between the data warehouse and its portal?
September 7, 2005

Could anyone please highlight the pros and cons of using products where you have to create such data clouds, compared to constructing OLAP cubes?
April 3, 2005 I am currently engaged in a BI (BSC) project. I have reviewed a couple of BI (BSC) tools and have come across several products...

We have a large customer database and are interested in identifying "duplicate customers." What data is available on creating good metrics?
April 3, 2005

Could you clarify the difference between the terms: data hub and staging area and identify where they fit in a corporate architecture?
January 3, 2005 Could you clarify the difference between the terms: data hub and staging area and identify where they fit in a corporate...

How do we model a fact table in which the measures are constantly changing?
January 3, 2005 How do we model a fact table in which the measures are constantly changing? Is updating a fact table a good thing to do? Or is...

What are the most important characteristics to compare when benchmarking data quality software?
November 1, 2004 I'm trying to make a benchmarking about data quality software. What are the most important characteristics to compare?

When designing the dimension for a call center do I keep the information in a denormalized form or break it into logical mini dimensions?
November 1, 2004 We are building a data mart for a hotel chain's call center. We have a huge customer information table in the source...

How do we map all the OLTP schema to OLAP to answer queries about historical information in the data warehouse?
November 1, 2004 We have database which stores our enterprise data and we need to keep track of the history of the information relevant to...

I have to model a transportation data mart.
June 10, 2004 I have to model a transportation data mart. There are 3 levels of events. These facts are a mixture of numeric and datetime...

Have you ever seen UML Use Cases used as a mechanism of modeling a data warehouse functionality? Currently the DW is modeled using dimensional modeling techniques.
June 10, 2004 Have you ever seen UML Use Cases used as a mechanism of modeling a data warehouse functionality? Currently the DW is modeled...

I am preparing a document for effort estimation for data warehousing projects.
April 27, 2004 I am preparing a document for effort estimation for data warehousing projects. Currently we are using WBS (work breakdown...

I am looking for a best practice on how to archive data from a very large database (VLDB).
April 27, 2004 I am looking for a best practice on how to archive data from a very large database (VLDB). Do you have any suggestions on...

I have a question on best practices to be used in designing a data warehouse.
April 27, 2004 I have a question on best practices to be used in designing a data warehouse. Assuming the data warehouse requires both an...

Where can I find a case study on the data warehousing life cycle?
April 27, 2004 Where can I find a case study on the data warehousing life cycle? Iíll be building a cube in a star schema within the...

What is a degenerate dimension and how is it used
December 9, 2003 What is a degenerate dimension and how is it used?

Can you direct me to some CRM models, approaches and comparison studies?
December 9, 2003 Can you direct me to some CRM models, approaches and comparison studies?

Can a single data staging area serve two masters, operational (ODS) and analytic (data warehouse)?
December 9, 2003 Can a single data staging area serve two masters, operational (ODS) and analytic (data warehouse)? Is a single data...

What are the major risk factors in a data warehouse project implementation?
December 9, 2003 What are the major risk factors in a data warehouse project implementation? Do you have any case studies for these risk...

When should I use a bitmappped index?
December 9, 2003 When should I use a bitmappped index?

What are the responsibilities of a data warehouse project manager?
December 9, 2003 What are the responsibilities of a data warehouse project manager?

Should I use a work breakdown structure in a data warehouse project?
December 9, 2003 Should I use a work breakdown structure in a data warehouse project?

Is a data mart defined by its size or is it defined by the specific business process it supports?
October 9, 2003 Is a data mart defined by its size or is it defined by the specific business process it supports?

How should I consider the integration of business intelligence systems and business performance management and what are the best ways to analyze these types of systems?
October 9, 2003 How should I consider the integration of business intelligence systems and business performance management and what are the...

Can you suggest good material such as books, research papers and Web resources that can be a guide for writing professional grade data warehouse business requirements?
August 22, 2003 Can you suggest good material such as books, research papers and Web resources that can be a guide for writing...

What is the best RDBMS (Teradata, Oracle or DB2) for data warehousing based on performance and size?
August 22, 2003 What is the best RDBMS (Teradata, Oracle or DB2) for data warehousing based on performance and size? We are looking at a...

We are currently looking for a best-in-class, pure Web-based BI tool for reporting, ad hoc and analysis needs.
August 22, 2003 We are currently looking for a best-in-class, pure Web-based BI tool for reporting, ad hoc and analysis needs. Any...

Have companies that have implemented data warehouses, particularly financial institutions, established a special data warehouse organization?
August 22, 2003 Have companies that have implemented data warehouses, particularly financial institutions, established a special data...

According to Mr.Inmon, data cleansing is most important phase for data warehousing.
July 2, 2003 According to Mr.Inmon, data cleansing is most important phase for data warehousing. He says that it's almost 60 percent of...

Is there a standard that can be used as a guideline for sizing and capacity?
July 2, 2003 Is there a standard that can be used as a guideline for sizing and capacity? Iíve been reading many sources of information...

In a corporate information factory model, how does the 3NF enterprise data warehouse capture slowly changing dimensions if in the source system the dimensional attributes get updated (Type 1)?
July 2, 2003 In a corporate information factory model, how does the 3NF enterprise data warehouse capture slowly changing dimensions...

I searched through your archive of questions and could not find an answer to my question, so I am submitting one in the hope you can provide some very practical assistance.
July 2, 2003 I searched through your archive of questions and could not find an answer to my question, so I am submitting one in the...

If someone were to venture into the BI world, what would be a logical starting place?
June 4, 2003 If someone were to venture into the BI world (say some one with 10 years of experience in the IT field on legacy...

What are the major issues that telcos face in deciding whether or not to switch from centralized to distributed/federated data warehousing platforms?
June 4, 2003 What are the major issues that telcos face in deciding whether or not to switch from centralized to distributed/federated...

What is a distributed data warehouse?
June 4, 2003 What is a distributed data warehouse?

We are planning a multinational data warehouse.
June 4, 2003 We are planning a multinational data warehouse. This issue raises a number of interesting questions: How should we...

Which are the ETL tools that are generally recommended to be used with MicroStrategy?
June 4, 2003 Which are the ETL tools that are generally recommended to be used with MicroStrategy?

Are Brio, Cognos, Crystal, BusinessObjects and SPSS the same type of BI solution?
April 2, 2003 Are Brio, Cognos, Crystal, BusinessObjects and SPSS the same type of BI solution? I get the impression SPSS is more off...

We met with one of the BI vendors to discuss query and reporting and multidimensional reporting.
April 2, 2003 We met with one of the BI vendors to discuss query and reporting and multidimensional reporting. As the discussion...

I'm in charge of our data warehouse and one of my colleagues suggested we look into purchasing a job scheduler to handle file transfers, job dependencies, etc.
April 2, 2003 I'm in charge of our data warehouse and one of my colleagues suggested we look into purchasing a job scheduler to handle...

I have a small problem relating to the relationships that exist between a dimension table and a fact table.
February 3, 2003 I have a small problem relating to the relationships that exist between a dimension table and a fact table. There are two...

We are building a DW for our distribution company.
February 3, 2003 We are building a DW for our distribution company. We are defining the metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to...

My customer information is spread over multiple systems on different platforms.
February 3, 2003 My customer information is spread over multiple systems on different platforms (Windows, UNIX, mainframe). The requirement...

I am currently involved with a start-up for-profit graduate and undergraduate educational project.
February 3, 2003 I am currently involved with a start-up for-profit graduate and undergraduate educational project but I want part of the...

How do I get project managers (business side/end users) to take ownership in a data warehousing initiative?
January 13, 2003 How do I get project managers (business side/end users) to take ownership in a data warehousing initiative?

The role of a business analyst for a data warehouse project is often conflicting and confusing.
January 13, 2003 The role of a business analyst for a data warehouse project is often conflicting and confusing. Can you establish how a...

Is there any possibility of linking the measure of a particular fact to another fact in multiple fact star schema which needs the measure?
January 13, 2003 Is there any possibility of linking the measure of a particular fact to another fact in multiple fact star schema which...

We are trying to create a policy on information reporting that would identify the types of reports that should come from our DW vs. those that should come from our operational systems.
January 13, 2003 We are trying to create a policy on information reporting that would identify the types of reports that should come from...

Assuming that the applications and databases are on separate machines, what is the current thinking on where the data warehouse database should reside?
December 2, 2002 Assuming that the applications and databases are on separate machines, what is the current thinking on where the data...

If there are 10 data marts which use different schemas (some use star and the others use snowflake), will inconsistencies arise designing a data warehouse using a bottom up approach?
December 2, 2002 If there are 10 data marts which use different schemas (some use star and the others use snowflake), will inconsistencies...

Do you suggest surrogate keys in data marts and/or EDW solutions?
December 2, 2002 Do you suggest surrogate keys in data marts and/or EDW solutions?

Can we and should we adopt different data modeling schemas during the extraction, transformation and staging method?
December 2, 2002 Can we and should we adopt different data modeling schemas during the extraction, transformation and staging method? What...

When it comes to the design technology of enterprise data warehouse (EDW), some people are insisting we use Inmon's approach of top-down methodology.
December 2, 2002 When it comes to the design technology of enterprise data warehouse (EDW), some people are insisting we use Inmon's...

We are in the process of building an insurance data warehouse.
November 5, 2002 We are in the process of building an insurance data warehouse. Some of the people involved in this project are thinking...

My company is currently starting an enterprise data warehouse project with an end result of ultimately feeding all of the back-end systems including our General Ledger system.
November 5, 2002 My company is currently starting an enterprise data warehouse project with an end result of ultimately feeding all of the...

We are using MicroStrategy7 as our reporting tool against our data warehouse which is DB2 on an IBM OS/390 mainframe.
November 5, 2002 We are using MicroStrategy7 as our reporting tool against our data warehouse which is DB2 on an IBM OS/390 mainframe. We...

We have a project that requires us to integrate up to 10 legacy customer-centric databases after a merger to build a customer marketing data mart.
November 5, 2002 We have a project that requires us to integrate up to 10 legacy customer-centric databases after a merger to build a...

Can you tell me where to find a good, comprehensive
October 3, 2002 Can you tell me where to find a good, comprehensive "template" for a data requirements document?

I have been challenged by a big manufacturing company, which consists of dozens of individual plants (through acquisitions but still function independently with their own data centers and some with their own DW) to build an enterprise data warehouse.
October 3, 2002 I have been challenged by a big manufacturing company, which consists of dozens of individual plants (through acquisitions...

In a simple star schema design for a data mart, does it matter if the relationships from the dimension tables to the fact tables are indirect relationships rather than direct relationships?
October 3, 2002 In a simple star schema design for a data mart, does it matter if the relationships from the dimension tables to the fact...

I am building a data mart for a P&C insurance company.
October 3, 2002 I built a dimensional model comprised of a dozen dimensions. Something about it doesn't feel right. Shouldn't I break the...

The ROI for data warehousing is an interesting approach.
October 3, 2002 The ROI for data warehousing is an interesting approach. Anyway it is only focusing on monetary aspects. Do you know...

Iím building a DW/DM for an educational institution which has many campuses.
October 3, 2002 Iím building a DW/DM for an educational institution which has many campuses. Iím tasked with building a DM template that...

Is BI reporting and reporting embedded in applications different?
October 3, 2002 Is BI reporting and reporting embedded in applications different? Are there any tools that do both or should two...

I have a question on the Sybase IQ's performance.
September 4, 2002 I have a question on the Sybase IQ's performance. Could you discusses the different performances of SybaseIQ with other...

We are having a little debate here regarding the use of codes along with their related descriptions in our the relational dimensions (not the OLAP dimensions).
September 4, 2002

Could somebody indicate to me where I can find test reports,case study or research information regarding data mining quality in relation to business intelligence reporting accuracy.
August 26, 2002 Could somebody indicate to me where I can find test reports, case study or research information regarding data mining...

This is my first query to you. I know bits and pieces about BI and the data warehouse.
June 25, 2002 This is my first query to you. I know bits and pieces about BI and the data warehouse. I have experience in OLTP systems....

What does granularity mean in the context of a data warehouse and what are the various levels of granularity?
June 25, 2002 What does granularity mean in the context of a data warehouse and what are the various levels of granularity?

I am in the process of designing the data model for the data warehouse. Is star schema or snowflake better?
June 25, 2002 I am in the process of designing the data model for the data warehouse. Is star schema or snowflake better?

Is there a reference I can go to which will layout a generic methodology for developing a configuration methodology through the entire
June 5, 2002 Is there a reference I can go to which will layout a generic methodology for developing a configuration methodology through...

How do you write an acceptance test plan for a data warehousing project?
June 5, 2002 How do you write an acceptance test plan for a data warehousing project? Is there any document to which I can refer?

Could you please tell me how to document a detailed methodology for establishing/maintaining a data warehouse.
June 5, 2002 Could you please tell me how to document a detailed methodology for establishing/maintaining a data warehouse. It would...

As PeopleSoft EPM 8.3 is a recent version and we do not have and history for its use, I would like to know what approach shall we take involving its staging and ODS schema for finance and Human Resources?
May 3, 2002 As PeopleSoft EPM 8.3 is a recent version and we do not have and history for its use, I would like to know what approach...

Can you use one database model for OLAP and OLTP?
May 3, 2002 My company is now investigating whether you could use one database model and/or one database for both OLTP and OLAP...

Can you provide me with the top data warehouse solution providers?
April 17, 2002 Can you provide me with the top data warehouse solution providers?

In a data warehouse for the financial or telecom industry, the customers are of two main categories: corporate and retail.
April 17, 2002 In a data warehouse for the financial or telecom industry, the customers are of two main categories: corporate and retail....

My company is implementing a DW, later this year an EAI project will be initiated.
March 13, 2002 My company is implementing a DW, later this year an EAI project will be initiated. Are there any design considerations,...

What is the scope of business analysis in a data warehousing environment?
March 13, 2002 What is the scope of business analysis in a data warehousing environment? Is data modeling the job of a business analyst in...

Data Warehouse Project Management
January 7, 2000 Will your data warehouse implementation fail due to a lack of project management? This classic article from the DM Review...

Data Warehouse Project Management
May 1, 1998 Will your data warehouse implementation fail due to a lack of project management? Read this article to learn how to be...

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