Q:  

Where do successful organizations place data warehousing and decision support systems within the internal IT organization? I am fighting to keep the function as a separate entity reporting to the CIO. Application development (transactional-based folks) feel all "development" should be in one area. Any help/references?

A:  

David Marco’s Answer: Off hand I don't know of any books or articles that state where the DSS team should be located, however I strongly feel that they should report directly to the CIO. I believe that this is critical as the DSS team will be interfacing with most, if not all, of the key systems within the company and may need executive support to break down some of those "ivory towers" in all of our companies. Keep up the fight!

Ross Armstrong's Answer: Don't give up. You'll be rewarded handsomely. I've worked on many data warehousing projects in many corporations, and the most successful and least stressful projects are when the project is not managed by application development. Characteristics such as not being able to resolve all data quality and reconciliation issues before initial load (diminishing returns) or not being able to spec out a repeatable workload or following an iterative or RAD methodology instead of the waterfalls methodology are quite unnerving to traditional application development management. Being able to develop a smaller warehouse to support a subset of the total business user base then adding more data and analytical function in successive iterations is the desired strategy. Delivering part of the warehouse in four to six months is far more valuable to the business than waiting until the total warehouse is developed in 12 to 18 months, as it would be in a traditional application development environment. Keep the project separate and ask your management to read some of the great books on warehouse implementation methodologies.

Sid Adelman’s Answer: The decision has probably more to do with power and empire than anything else does. If the group no longer reports to the CIO, you've lost power and the data warehouse has more chance of being bastardized, abused and used for the wrong purposes.

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