5/03/2012

Data Warehouse Exposes 'Bigger' Issues

We are in the process of building a new centralized Data Warehouse.

That's easy, right.

Just write some code to move the data into the staging tables which will end up in the Star Schema.

Piece of cake.

Um, Houston we have a problem.

When inserting data into the staging table, we are seeing things that don't make sense.

With some investigation, asking the business users their process, we identified incorrect practices.

Which have been occurring since forever.

Um, Houston we have another problem.

Let's ask the business.

Okay, another process done incorrectly for decades.

Wonder why the auditors never caught that one.

Hmmm.  Wait a minute.

So what we've got here is the exposure of some bad business practices.

And it exposes the lack of documented process.

And it exposes the culture of silos.

And it exposes the lack of oversight.

And it exposes too many people who have job security because nobody knows what they are doing.

I sure love Data Warehouses.

For the fact that it seeps into every department and uncovers shaky practices.

And once the DW is operational, I can report on all this data.

One source of the truth.  Dashboards.  Scorecards.  KPIs.  Advanced Analystics. Possibly some Self Service BI.

Progress!

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