This book has been all about the delivery of answers to businesspeople. To provide answers, the designers of the data warehouse must possess a solid understanding of the way the business is run. Without it, the design will not reflect the way people look at the business, nor will it provide answers to pressing questions. A deep understanding of the business can only be gained by talking to people. In this chapter, we'll look at how to prepare for and conduct interviews.
The discussions of data warehouse and report designs throughout this book are of interest to many different groups of people, including data warehouse designers, information technology managers, and the businesspeople who use the data warehouse. This chapter centers around cultivating an understanding of the business, and is specifically directed at the data warehouse designer, whose job is to link the technical design to business requirements. Interviewing techniques apply in many areas of life, but the examples in this chapter center around the needs of the data warehouse designer.
The key to successful interviewing may surprise you. We've provided insight into the ways in which a number of businesses are run, and you've probably had enough contact with the people in your business to form a general notion of how they work. However, if you want to learn anything by talking with someone, you must forget what you know. Forget about the key business terms you have read in these pages; forget about ...