I want to know how to estimate the total project cost to implement a data warehouse. Are there any tools available to estimate the project cost, specifically for data warehouses or for related projects?
Sid Adelman’s Answer: You first need to identify all the costs associated with your data warehouse project. This template is taken from Data Warehouse Project Management by Sid Adelman and Larissa Moss.
To determine the cost of a data warehouse list the expense, calculate the price and then compute the dollar amount. Here is a list of possible expenses:
Be sure to consider the costs of maintaining the system post-implementation. These significant costs are frequently not considered in the total cost of ownership. These costs include the following:
Clay Rehms Answer: I am not aware of any specific tool. However, the PMI (www.pmi.org) Project Management Methodology provides a road map on how to best plan and manage a project. Any data warehouse effort is a project and needs the rigor and discipline offered by solid project management.
Data warehouse projects are large integration projects, and the reason they fail is that is quite difficult to gain cooperation and coordination among many disparate groups. Every data warehouse project I have worked on has been different from each other. The areas that are common are the definition stages and planning. I dont know how many people are affected by your project, the scope, how many integration points, so it is impossible to have a standard template for estimating.
Even after you develop an estimate during your planning stage, you will most likely have to revise that estimate after more data analysis has been performed. An initial assessment always needs to be completed first to identify, define and broadly estimate the project. The assessment will provide really one goal which is to proceed or not to proceed (go/no go).
The problem with an assessment is that they are usually not detailed enough because the client does not want to spend the time and money doing the proper investigation. Thus the estimates provided from the assessment are someones best guess at the time.
The challenge of a data warehouse project is that you are working with used data. There is no new data and you have to rely on the data, structures and systems that are already entrenched. It is not like estimating the cost to build a new house.
Bottom line a data warehouse project really needs a project manager who can track and keep up with all the necessary tasks needed. A good data warehouse architect is needed to oversee and implement the complicated design.
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