Q: I'm in the process of creating a presentation on data warehousing estimation (both ETL tools and OLAP tools). There are two scenarios: 1) data warehouse (DW) estimation at the RFP level and 2) DW estimation once the project is signed. The questions are: 1) What is the approach of estimation that I can use when it is top down and when it is bottom up? 2) What are the estimation mechanisms that can be used for application development and application maintenance? Which estimation technique is more effective?

Sid Adelman's Answer:

I'm confused (nothing new here). Are you trying to get an estimate of what the DW will cost? Are you looking for an estimate of how long it will take? Are you trying to give a vendor an estimate of how much they should charge you?

Regardless, to develop a meaningful estimate you will need to create a project plan with estimates of the tasks coming from those who will be performing the tasks. A project planning tool such as Microsoft's Project will help you with schedule duration. Both The BI Roadmap (Larissa Moss and Shaku Atre) and Data Warehouse Project Management (Sid Adelman and Larissa Moss) have lists on CD of the tasks involved in a data warehouse project. These can get you started.

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