Building the Data Warehouse

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Rule of Thumb:


If 50% of the first iteration of design is correct, the design effort has been a success.


•    building very small subsets quickly and carefully listening to feedback


•    prototyping


•    looking at what other people have done


•    working with an experienced user


•    looking at what the organization has now


•    JAD sessions with simulated output


Figure 4.6 The attitude of the end user: «Now that I see what can be done, I can tell you what would really be useful.»

Some Feedback Loop Techniques


Following are techniques to make the feedback loop harmonious:


■■ Build the first parts of the data warehouse in very small, very fast steps, and carefully listen to the end users’ comments at the end of each step of development. Be prepared to make adjustments quickly.


■■ If available, use prototyping and allow the feedback loop to function using observations gleaned from the prototype.


■■ Look at how other people have built their levels of granularity and learn from their experience.


■    Go through the feedback process with an experienced user who is aware of the process occurring. Under no circumstances should you keep your users in the dark as to the dynamics of the feedback loop.


■    Look at whatever the organization has now that appears to be working, and use those functional requirements as a guideline.

■■ Execute joint application design (JAD) sessions and simulate the output in order to achieve the desired feedback.

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