Is there any methodology to design and implement a data warehouse?


Sid Adelman’s Answer: The methodology to design a data warehouse can be found in The Data Warehouse Toolkit by Ralph Kimball and Margy Ross and the methodology to implement a data warehouse can be found in the Business Intelligence Roadmap by Larissa Moss and Shaku Atre.

Les Barbusinski’s Answer: I know of no single, universally accepted DW development methodology. Most DW consulting and system integrator companies have a proprietary methodology that they use in their projects, and some offer their methodology for sale. These methodologies run the gamut from "paper mills" that are based on the standard "waterfall" approach (and generate lots of documentation and paper deliverables) to "express" methodologies based on rapid prototyping and project "time boxing." There are also commercially available seminars in data warehouse methodologies offered by The Data Warehouse Institute and vendors such as DCI, DebTech and others. Take your pick.

Be careful, however, in the choice you make. The steps needed to implement a successful departmental data mart differ significantly from those needed to implement an enterprise-wide Corporate Information Factory. Make sure that the methodology you choose addresses your particular needs. Also, avoid methodologies that smack of a big bang approach. These methodologies have – historically – had a high failure rate. Rather, look for a methodology that uses an incremental approach and utilizes rapid prototyping techniques. Hope this helps.

Larissa Moss’ Answer: Yes. There is a very complete and inexpensive 16-step methodology specifically written for data warehouse development. It is the book Business Intelligence Roadmap: The Complete Project Lifecycle for Decision-Support Applications by Larissa T. Moss and Shaku Atre. The book includes a 920- task work breakdown structure on a CD.

Chuck Kelley’s Answer: Absolutely. Bill Inmon ( www.inmoncif.com or www.inmongif.com) has one, Ralph Kimball ( www.ralphkimball.com), David Marco has two (one for DW and one for metadata – www.ewsolutions.com), and just about every other consulting company has one.

Clay Rehm’s Answer: Absolutely! I believe most DW/BI vendors have their own methodology. I have not seen any published and I doubt you will since vendors make money selling theirs to clients!

As far as a generic methodology, you could follow the systems development methodology (SDM) in combination with a project management methodology (PMM). Do a search on the Internet for systems development methodology and contact www.pmi.org for more information regarding managing projects.

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