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Diary of a Data Warehouse Project

  • July 01 2001, 1:00am EDT

Wouldn't it be great to have an insider's perspective on another company's data warehousing project? What if you could follow the progress of that project as described by the data warehouse project manager? What if you could learn from his successes and failures?

We thought you might like that idea. That's why we are very excited to introduce the Diary of a Data Warehouse Project, a new feature at, our online community for business intelligence (BI) and data warehousing professionals.

Starting this month, the Diary of a Data Warehouse Project will follow the work of a real-life project manager on a data warehousing initiative – from start to finish. Updated weekly, this diary will give you the inside scoop on the progress of the project. You will be privy to the challenges encountered by the project manager and able to witness how his responses to those challenges ultimately shape the outcome of the project.

It's no secret that these types of projects can be difficult because typically more departments – and, therefore, more managers and end users – have a stake in the success of the initiative. Often, a BI vendor pitches a solution directly to the sales and marketing teams, and the information technology (IT) department becomes involved as an afterthought. Or, the project lacks management sponsorship, resulting in a power struggle between IT and the initiating business unit. The political ramifications alone can be daunting. The real challenge is getting everyone – management, IT staff and end users – working together to identify common goals and an actionable plan to reach those goals.

We have partnered with Greenbrier & Russel, a systems integration firm that specializes in business intelligence projects, to bring the Diary of a Data Warehouse Project to Greenbrier & Russel helped us select a project that we believe will be the most beneficial to BI and data warehousing professionals.

The Diary of a Data Warehouse Project will be based on a data warehousing initiative at a large, midwestern retail organization. In order to bring you a true insider's account of this project, names, along with some minor details, will be changed to protect the innocent.

What's so exciting about publishing the Diary of a Data Warehouse Project is that, like most projects, there is no way to predict exactly how things will progress. The most reliable methodology in the universe won't help if a key member of the technical team is lost or an executive edict drastically alters the scope of the project.

We think you'll all benefit from the ability to follow this project's peaks and pitfalls each week at There is much to be learned from chronicling an entire data warehousing project from the assessment and planning phases through testing and implementation.

No one at DM Review or knows what will happen through the course of this project. We do know, however, that this new feature will provide you with valuable, real-world insights into managing a data warehouse project.

The first installment of the Diary of a Data Warehouse Project will be available July 1 at, the Web's premier destination for BI and data warehouse professionals. At the site, we are also providing a discussion forum for sharing your ideas and/or comments on the project with the actual Greenbrier & Russel project manager and other BI professionals who visit the forum.

The Diary of a Data Warehouse Project can be accessed by clicking the Diary of a Data Warehouse Project icon on the home page of You will also be able to access the Diary through the iKnowledge section of (You will need to join to access the Diary and the related forum. Membership is free and provides a wealth of other valuable data warehousing/business intelligence information for members.)

We look forward to your feedback on this exciting new feature. Be sure to take advantage of this outstanding and unique opportunity to increase knowledge transfer for the benefit of all involved.

It may not be Bridget Jones's Diary, but with your help we can make it the next best thing!

To view the first installment from Diary of a Data Warehouse Project, click here .

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