Chapter 16. Building the Data Warehouse

The gears shift rather dramatically in this chapter. Rather than focusing on dimensional modeling techniques, we turn our attention to everything else that occurs during the course of a data warehouse design and implementation project. We'll walk through the life of a data warehouse project from inception through ongoing maintenance, identifying best practices at each step, as well as potential vulnerabilities. More comprehensive coverage of the data warehouse lifecycle is available in The Data Warehouse Lifecycle Toolkit, by Ralph Kimball, Laura Reeves, Margy Ross, and Warren Thornthwaite (Wiley, 1998). This chapter is a crash course drawn from the complete text, which weighs in at a hefty 750+ pages.

Some may perceive that this chapter's content is applicable only to data warehouse project managers. We certainly don't feel that this is the case. Implementing a data warehouse requires tightly integrated activities. We believe that everyone on the project team, including the business analyst, architect, database designer, data stager, and analytic application developer, needs a high-level understanding of the complete lifecycle of a data warehouse. Like the rest of the book, we've written this chapter so that it's accessible to a broad audience.


Chapter 16 covers the following concepts:

  • Business dimensional lifecycle overview

  • Data warehouse project planning and ongoing communication and management

  • Tactics for collecting business requirements, ...

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