Could you please tell me how to document a detailed methodology for establishing/maintaining a data warehouse. It would be best if you could provide me with some tried and tested methodology as an example.


Doug Hackney’s Answer: Our methodology has about 600 megabytes of processes, samples, templates, best practices, plans, etc. developed over 10 years of designing, implementing and sustaining systems. While a single project or even a few will give you a start, you only gain the breadth, depth and resulting flexibility through scores of projects. Given the maturity of the market, probably better to buy than build at this point.

Larissa Moss’ Answer: There is a new book coming out this year which outline 16 development steps specific to data warehouse projects. The 16 steps are: business case assessment, enterprise infrastructure, project planning, project delivery requirements, data analysis, application prototyping, meta data repository analysis, meta data repository design, database design, ETL design, ETL development, application development, data mining, meta data repository development, implementation, release evaluation. The name of the book is Business Intelligence Decision Support Roadmap: The Complete Lifecycle by Shaku Atre and Larissa Moss published by Addison Wesley (late 2002). This book lists the major activities and associated tasks for each of the development steps, showing their dependencies, task deliverables do’s, don’ts, tips and rules of thumb.

Joe Oates’ Answer: All methodologies that I know of are proprietary to a company. So your best bet is to study one of the available books that include information on a data warehouse methodology at a sufficiently low level of detail. My recommendation is The Data Warehouse Lifecycle Toolkit by Ralph Kimball. It is the best that I am aware of. Alternatively, you may want to surf the Web for a government (public domain) methodology.

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