Figure 18-1 is a pictorial representation of the steps in the physical design process for a data warehouse. Note the steps indicated in the figure. In the following subsections, we will broadly describe the activities within these steps. You will understand how at the end of the process you arrive at the completed physical model. After the end of this section, the rest of the chapter elaborates on all the crucial aspects of the physical design.

18.2.1. Develop Standards

Many companies invest a lot of time and money to prescribe standards for information systems. The standards range from how to name the fields in the database to how to conduct interviews with the user departments for requirements definition. A group in IT is designated to keep the standards up-to-date. In some companies, every revision must be updated and authorized by the CIO. Through the standards group, the CIO ensures that the standards are followed correctly and strictly. Now the practice is to publish the standards on the company's intranet. If your IT department is one of the progressive ones giving due attention to standards, then be happy to embrace and adapt the standards for the data warehouse.

In the data warehouse environment, the scope of the standards expands to include additional areas. Standards ensure consistency across the various areas. If you have the same way of indicating names of the database objects, then you are leaving less room for ambiguity. Let us say the ...

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