Chapter 10. Implementation: Building the Database

The IT work involved in building the database is one of the most difficult and complex parts of implementing a data warehouse environment. There are many resources to provide guidance for the project team and technical staff to help accomplish this goal. For the purposes of this text, the focus of database building will be at a high level. Rather than share the nitty-gritty design details, a summary is all that you need. However, it is important for all managers (business and IT) to have a basic understanding of what is happening during this part of the project.

This chapter provides a representative sample of the work that needs to be done, but is not intended to be an all-inclusive reference. It is also important to know how you can help and what is expected of you during this very technical part of the project. This chapter provides both a foundation and insight into how managers and other members of the business community should be involved.

Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) Fundamentals

The ETL (extract, transform, and load) work is the most frequently underestimated work that is done on a data warehouse project. It is also the least understood set of tasks by everyone other than the developers themselves. It would seem simple: Copy the data, move it around a little bit, and load it for use. In reality, the ETL process is rarely straightforward and simple. Having a good understanding of the work that must be done and the condition ...

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