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InfoManagement Direct, October 29, 2009

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Success with a data warehouse project is a challenge due to the size, complexity and diverse
requirements. The quality-driven success strategies outlined here address and resolve this challenge.
Ô Determine data warehouse project objectives:
Ô Deliver significant benefits on time.
Ô Minimize defect, fault, rework and avoid disaster.
Ô Measure and manage performance, and improve benefits.
Find DW quality drivers:
Ô Prevent defect or fault, and save after-the-fact costly rework.
Ô Identify and mitigate risk before the fact.
Ô Address or eliminate issues, and avoid costly after-the-fact resolution.
Ô Reduce the need to change and use change control.
Seek quality-driven DW benefits:
Ô Improve customer service and increase customer satisfaction.
Ô Boost marketing and selling capabilities and increase competitive advantage.
Ô Reduce cost, effort and resource utilization.
Ô Streamline processes and develop more efficient management tools.
Ô Make jobs easier, less stressful and raise employee productivity.
Establish DW project success strategies:
Ô Help sponsors be informed, accepting of problems, and willing to devote time to the project and
make quick decisions.
Ô Prepare to articulate and execute deliverables in very complicated, multi-faceted environments
involving diverse skills.
Ô Map project objectives to the enterprise mission and get buy-in from stakeholders.
Ô Complete due-diligence in all areas: scoping, estimating, budgeting, scheduling, staffing, skills-
adequacy, dirty data, DW design, architecture, infrastructure and project governance.
Set DW project management success strategies:
Ô Adhere to a discipline project management approach.
Ô Plan with participation, inspire ownership and execute in pieces.
Ô Time-box activities, assign ownership, track delivery and recognize good performance.
Ô Run parallel activity tracks while coordinating teams and deliverables.
Ô Deep-dive in all areas of the project and ensure quality delivery.
Ensure success through active DW project manager roles:
Ô Plan, execute and monitor budget.
Ô Get access to sponsors, stakeholders, team members, users, customers and service providers.
Ô Communicate the truth in a timely manner and be persuasive.
Ô Take a key role in scoping, estimating, staffing, assessing skills-adequacy, cleansing dirty data
and establishing the DW design, architecture and infrastructure.
Ô Establish strong and direct control procedures and track performance.
Ô Review work in progress daily, adjust tasks and deliverables, assign new tasks, run team
interfaces and organize stakeholder review sessions.
Ô Do cost-benefit analysis of data cleansing and impact analysis on requested changes.
Ô Deep-dive in all areas of the project and change directions to succeed when facing roadblocks.
Capitalize on strengths of the DW project manager he/she must:
Ô Earn support from stakeholders, respects technologists and inspires quality delivery.
Ô Be skilled in ³quality´ and ³process,´ ³defect/fault´ reduction, risk mitigation and issue resolution.
Avoids operational disasters.
Ô Understand business value of data, analysis, reporting and impact on decision-making.
Ô Understand data warehouse architecture and customer service.
Ô Understand data technically, and knows when data is correct, accurate, consistent, complete,
integrated and follows business rules.
Ô Understands the cost of data cleansing and metadata. (Note: 70 to 80 percent of the effort may be
in data cleansing and transforming from source to target.)
Ô Envision from 50 feet up, be experienced to work 100 feet wide, and be skilled to deep-dive 10
feet in the trenches with technologists.
Ô Deep-dive in all areas of the project: requirements, data, source, target, data modeling, DW
design, architecture, database, data, ETL (extract, transform and load), testing, end-user training,
implementation, infrastructure support, continuity of business to performance metrics and
customer satisfaction surveys.
Review the DW benefits:
1. Increase number of customers:
Ô Recruit and retain more customers enabled by information available on relationships, accounts,
activities, channel utilization and demographics.
Ô Identify marketing opportunities for products and services by analyzing existing and potential
Ô Enroll and retain more customers by giving them access to information on accounts, products and
2. Increase revenue:
Ô Cross-sell to customers by relationships, accounts, activities, channel utilization, demographics,
revenue and fees.
Ô Market to potential customers by measuring revenue, profit, channels available and customer
Ô Collect on loans and generate more loans enabled by information on customers.
3. Increase productivity:
Ô Increase productivity by enabling analysts and users to create their own reports.
Ô Save time producing reports for government or other agencies.
Ô Save 50 to 90 percent of analyst¶s time in gathering data, now available from one source.
4. Control cost:
Ô Understand and control service and customer costs by account type, channel and activities.
Ô Control inventory and negotiate with suppliers and vendors on services, outsourcing and capital
Ô Detect fraud by searching internally and externally and analyzing better HR information.
5. Intangible benefits:
Ô Store accepted, consistent data definitions and make them available to users.
Ô Produce consistent reports and answers to queries.
Ô Set up effective reporting procedures with more data and better quality of information.
Ô Boost decision-making capabilities, both operational and strategic.
Ô Reduce reluctance to make decisions with timely information available on demand.
Ô Improve morale as employees are more comfortable with their decisions, take greater pride in
their work and have the tools to do a better job.
Ô Provide better service from the customer¶s perspective using enhanced information.
Ô Analyze alternative business strategies by running what-if scenarios.
Ô Save time and effort with one easy-to-access data source.
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