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Message Posted: Tue, 04 May 2004 @ 14:22:23 GMT

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Subj:   Re: EDW - Logically Integrated across multiple DBs v/s Single DB
From:   Ray, Edmond

Attn: Anonymous,

Normally an EDW will have separate databases for each subject area all running on the same instance of Teradata. Additionally there will be another database for common dimension tables such as TIME, LOCATION, EMPLOYEE, CUSTOMER, etc. In their individual subject area the divisions have free reign. In the common dimension area they have to come to agreements that all can live with. Usually this will require supervision by a third party from upper management and your data modeler. To simplify maintenance and interoperability all model changes should be approved though a single data modeler or data modeler group with written standards for naming conventions, surrogate keys, data integrity, and unit standards. Also having standards for how ETL will be performed can help considerably in the maintenance process and in training new staff.

For example on the USPS account where I am currently working we have a modeler who's entire responsibility is the common dimension subject area. He coordinates a weekly meeting between the 5+ major subject areas to approve and implement and changes. All must approve the changes before they go in. Our modeling team must approve all DDL before it goes in. We have written standards for naming conventions, use of surrogate keys, and ETL process requirements to insure proper data cleansing and integrity.

Assuming that you have one division that has been in place for 4 years, you probably have much of this in place already. It will be a matter of bringing the new division in by introducing them to the use the procedures already in place. If the standards are not written down, now is the time.

As with most things that cross divisions there will be political battles. Seek support from friendly executives to apply pressure for everyone to play nicely. Inform the division that is already in place that they will have to adhere to the policies and procedures also. Enlist help in writing and reviewing standards to get buy-in from all parties. Try to get opinions from at least 2 individuals from each team. This will help you avoid individuals trying to steer you on personal agendas. Be sure to get executive sign off on the standards so they carry enough weight to be enforced.

Good luck,

Edmond Ray
Senior Data Warehouse Consultant
Special Programs, NCR Government Systems

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