Aligning the data warehouse/business intelligence (DW/BI) environment with the business’s requirements is absolutely critical to a successful initiative. Period. Best-of-breed tools or sophisticated designs won’t salvage a DW/BI project that fails to focus on the business. The business’s requirements impact almost every decision made during the course of a DW/BI implementation.
DecisionWorks has developed a proven methodology for identifying an enterprise’s DW/BI needs. This methodology is outlined in depth in The Data Warehouse Lifecycle Toolkit, Second Edition (Wiley 2008); it is recognized by many as an industry best practice.
Our methodology is very business focused. DecisionWorks’ consultants interview key business management and knowledge workers to understand their business objectives, analytic requirements and associated potential business impact, and project success criteria. In addition, we conduct data discovery interviews with IT representatives knowledgeable about the key source systems to ensure that appropriate, feasible boundaries are established early in the process. Upon completion of the interview process, DecisionWorks assimilates and analyzes the interview results. The findings are then presented to the appropriate stakeholders to validate the results, ensure consensus on the vision, and establish future priorities.
DecisionWorks’ requirements deliverable typically covers the following topics: critical business and analytic requirements, feasibility of existing systems and data to support the capabilities required, preliminary data warehouse bus architecture with common business dimensions, initial project success criteria, and key issues/risks with tactical and strategic recommendations.