Chapter 18. The End-User Community

Data warehouses and their ultimate use are shaped profoundly by the end user. But there is no "end user" per se for the data warehouse environment. In fact, there is an entire community of end users and in that community there is great diversity.

The end-user community can be characterized by looking at the type of individual who constitutes the community. In general, there are four types of end users:

  • Farmers

  • Explorers

  • Miners

  • Tourists

Each of these classifications of end user has his or her own set of unique characteristics.

The Farmer

The farmer is the most predominant type of user found in the data warehouse environment. The farmer is a predictable person. He or she does the same activity on a routine basis. The types of queries the farmer submits vary only by the type of data that the query is submitted for. The same type of query is run repeatedly by the farmer.

The queries submitted by the farmer tend to be short. Since the farmer knows what he or she wants, the farmer goes directly to where the data is. The queries that the farmer submits have a similar pattern of access. If the farmer submits lots of queries on Mondays one week, then it is a good bet that the farmer will submit lots of queries on Monday next week.

The farmer has a high "hit rate" on finding whatever he or she wants. If the farmer were a baseball player, the farmer would be a batter that hits for average. Seldom does the farmer hit home runs, but seldom does the farmer strike out. ...

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