Building the Data Warehouse

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Data gathering. The output from this activity may come from many sources. In general, requirements-usually detailed-that are not caught elsewhere are gathered here. This is a free-form, catchall, requirements-gathering activity, the results of which fill in the gap for other requirements-gathering activities.

JAD (Joint Application Design) session output. The output from these activities is the group “brainstorm” synopsis. Some of the benefits of requirements formulation in a JAD session are the spontaneity and flow of ideas, and the critical mass that occurs by having different people in the same room focusing on a common objective. The output of one or more JAD sessions is a formalized set of requirements that collectively represent the end users’ needs.

Strategic business plan analysis. If the company has a strategic business plan, it makes sense to reflect on how the plan relates to the requirements of the system being designed. The influence of the strategic business plan can manifest itself in many ways-in setting growth figures, in identifying new lines of business, in describing organizational changes, and so forth. All of these factors, and more, shape the requirements of the system being built.

Existing systems shape requirements for a new system profoundly. If related, existing systems have been built, at the very least the interface between the new set of requirements and existing systems must be identified.

Conversion, replacement, parallel processing, and so forth are all likely topics. The output of this activity is a description of the impact and influence of existing systems on the requirements for the system being developed.

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