Building the Data Warehouse

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ISSUE: The spiral development approach is always the correct development approach for the data warehouse environment. The waterfall SDLC approach is never the appropriate approach.

71.    Will an ETL tool be used for moving data from the operational environment to the data warehouse environment, or will the transformation be done manually?

ISSUE: In almost every case, using a tool of automation to transform data into the data warehouse environment makes sense. Only where there is a very small amount of data to be loaded into the data warehouse environment should the loading of the data warehouse be done manually.


Design review is an important quality assurance practice that can greatly increase the satisfaction of the user and reduce development and maintenance costs. Thoroughly reviewing the many aspects of a warehouse environment prior to building the warehouse is a sound practice.

The review should focus on both detailed design and architecture.


M1 —Initial Project Activities

PRECEDING ACTIVITY: Decision to build an operational system.

FOLLOWING ACTIVITY: Preparing to use existing code/data.

TIME ESTIMATE: Indeterminate, depending on size of project.


SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS: Because of the ambiguity of this step, it tends to drag out interminably. As long as 90 percent (or even less) of the system is defined here, the system development should continue into the next phase.

DELIVERABLE: Raw system requirements.

Interviews. The output of interviews is the “softcore” description of what the system is to do, usually reflecting the opinion of middle management. The format of the output is very free-form. As a rule, the territory covered by interviews is not comprehensive.

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