Figure 4: Implementation View
Architecture: This perspective includes topics such as size and performance requirements, data quality issues, meta data control and retention policies. Decisions made on retention, for instance, will impact data architecture issues such as partitioning of the data as well as technical architecture considerations regarding disk storage.
Process View: Here, the architect must outline, at a high-level, process issues such as: refresh rates, backup/recovery, archive, workflow and security. Again, you will address as many of these topics as possible even though no particular iteration of the warehouse is being discussed.
Executing Your BI Vision
Your BI plan should start with high-level diagrams, broad policy statements and general definitions. As your BI environment matures, so too will the formal documentation and depth of detail identified in your strategy document.
The BI organization is a planned, architectural vision for your enterprise. The BI strategy document is the necessary road map to follow as you begin implementing your environment, iteratively. The road map must be tuned and constantly adjusted to reflect the needs of your business and its strategic direction. Without a broad architectural vision, BI iterations are little more than haphazard warehouse-centric implementations that do little to create an enterprise-wide, informational asset.
Your strategy document offers insight into the BI environment. It must focus on communicating what you are planning to build, how you plan to build it and when users can expect their requirements to be met. To that end, a BI strategic document will include at the very least four core components: conceptual view, data architecture, technical architecture and implementation view. Each of these components provides readers with a unique perspective of the BI environment being planned.
Acknowledgement: Content for this article is expanded in the book IBM Data Warehousing by Michael L. Gonzales (published by Wiley).
Michael L. Gonzales has been a chief architecture and solutions strategist for more than a decade, specializing in business intelligence technologies and techniques. Gonzales is currently a Principle at Claraview, Inc., where he leads the Education department teaching a series of DW/BI courses internationally. He is a successful author; his latest book is BI Strategy: How to Create and Document. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.