Data Warehousing
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Data Warehousing

Data Warehousing is both a strategic business enabler and a technology platform. It is a program dedicated to the delivery of information which advances decision making, improves business practices and enables knowledge workers. It includes a data warehouse, data mart or database and surrounding tools, skills and processes that provision detailed, historical, subject-oriented data to knowledge workers for business intelligence (BI). A data warehouse alleviates the knowledge worker’s burden of finding, extracting, cleansing, consolidating and deploying information. It provides a central point of data access for basic query and reporting and highly sophisticated analytics and modeling. Companies no longer have to rely on “gut feel” for decision making or wait weeks for standard reports. A data warehouse can help a company identify its best customers, enhance operational efficiencies, deliver more accurate forecasts, target differentiating customer segments and develop innovative products and services aligned to market demand.

Z & A Viewpoint

Z & A understands that building a data warehouse that delivers on its promise is easier said than done. Your knowledge workers have trouble explaining what they need so IT can build it. You’ve discovered a plethora of data sources with conflicting and unreliable data. No one agrees on who owns the data and your standard IT development processes don’t seem to fit. To further complicate things, the Data Warehouse landscape continues to evolve. The vendor market is consolidating and new data sources such as click streams and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) are here to stay. Compliance and security regulations place new demands on Data Warehouses. Outsourcing development activities is commonplace and the 360-degree view of the business continues to elude even the early adopters.With investments in data warehousing growing to tens of millions of dollars, failure is not an option.

Z & A Value

Z & A has been building data warehouses for 15 years for some of the largest and most complex IT projects in the world. We have developed highly specialized skills and repeatable approaches for requirements gathering, data design, data migration and application deployment. At the same time, we tailor our core set of best practices to your company’s unique development methods, cultural styles and management priorities. Z & A ensures successful data warehouse delivery - the first time.

Z & A Best Practices

Z & A identifies best practices through client engagements and participation in leading industry associations, such as The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI). Our Best Practices for data warehousing include:

  • Approach data warehousing as a program, not a project.
  • Practice a “business-driven” approach to data warehouse development.
  • Engage stakeholders prior to development.
  • Secure business sponsorship.
  • Avoid “big bang” projects. Develop a long-term roadmap and implement in small, controlled projects using rapid iterative development.
  • Build credibility by delivering new business value every 9-12 weeks.
  • Develop discrete data models before physically designing data structures and databases.
  • Introduce and implement metadata.
  • Avoid “so what” functionality to ensure business value.
  • Define and measure success.