-- Integration modeling, data warehousing, data strategy
The typical IS
organization supports an environment that was built over time, with computer applications
that were designed to support the day-to-day operation of the company's primary business.
There are separate applications (or computer systems) for several categories of use. Some
are centralized systems, used for back office functions like Financial, Payroll and
General Ledger updates. Others run in localized environments, such as those for Field
Office, Personnel and Sales & Marketing initiatives. Still others are run in multiples
- every branch running it's own version. Order processing and customer information storage
systems may fall into the category of multiples.
Often these applications are built on differing platforms by many different and separate
development teams, without a "city plan" or architecture for fitting them all
together. Each department just "does their own thing", without worrying about
what other departments are doing.
To complicate matters further, over time we see a proliferation of needs for reporting
extracts from various quarters, such as:
What ensues is an
increasing competition for resources, including:
Along with a decreasing
window of opportunity for accessing those resources. Particularly, time in the overnight
processing cycle is in demand. Often, there exists no more than a 2 hour window of
opportunity for extracts. In a realtime environment or what's referred to as 7 by 24, the
problem gets worse.
To avoid degrading the processing of day-to-day operations in a business, you must remove
the information access from the critical path of Information Processing. Thus, the
practice of making "Shadow Copies" of data repositories was born, and termed
Data Warehousing. These copies typically are taken daily, weekly or monthly, and in some
instances much more frequently.
The Data Warehousing industry has grown up around the real business need to create a
"Corporate Information Architecture" - a "city plan" that is - to
support informational processing for management decision support and integrated analysis.
The organization and integration of data into this Architecture as well as the creation of
data access mechanisms, are the goals of many a DW Implementation Project.
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- Copyright 1998, 1999. Laura Brown,
LBPI, Inc. (DBA: System Innovations)
- Last Updated: August 19, 1999