Integrated EDW Kimball

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    EssentialStepsforEssentialStepsforEssentialStepsforEssentialStepsfor

    theIntegratedEDWtheIntegratedEDWtheIntegratedEDWtheIntegratedEDW

    AKimballGroupWhitePaper

    ByRalphKimball

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    TableofContentsTableofContentsTableofContentsTableofContents

    ExecutiveSummary.................................................................................3

    AbouttheAuthor......................................................................................3

    WhatDoesanIntegratedEnterpriseDataWarehouse(EDW)Deliver?....4DrillingAcrossistheUltimateLitmusTestforIntegration.........................4

    TheOrganizationalChallengesofProvidinganIntegratedEDW..............5

    ConformedDimensionsandFacts...........................................................6

    UsingtheBusMatrixasaWaytoCommunicatewithExecutives.............6

    ManagingtheBackboneoftheIntegratedEDW.......................................7

    TheDimensionManager..........................................................................8

    TheFactProvider..................................................................................11

    ConfiguringBIToolstoUsetheIntegratedEDW....................................12

    AdvancedTopics...................................................................................13

    Conclusion.............................................................................................18

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    EssentialStepsfortheIntegratedEDWCopyright2008byKimballGroup.Allrightsreserved.

    ExecutiveSummaryExecutiveSummaryExecutiveSummaryExecutiveSummary

    Inthiswhitepaper,weproposeaspecificarchitectureforbuildinganintegratedenterprisedatawarehouse(EDW).Thisarchitecturedirectlysupportsmasterdatamanagementeffortsandprovidestheplatformforconsistentbusinessanalysisacrosstheenterprise.Wedescribethescopeandchallengesofbuildingan

    integratedenterprisedatawarehouse,andweprovidedetailedguidancefordesigningandadministeringthenecessaryprocessesthatsupportintegration.ThiswhitepaperhasbeenwritteninresponsetoalackofspecificguidanceintheindustryastowhatanintegratedEDWactuallyis,andwhatnecessarydesignelementsareneededtoachieveintegration.

    AbouttheAuthorAbouttheAuthorAbouttheAuthorAbouttheAuthor

    RalphKimballfoundedtheKimballGroup.Sincethemid1980s,hehasbeenthedatawarehouse/businessintelligence(DW/BI)industrysthoughtleaderonthedimensionalapproachandtrainedmorethan10,000ITprofessionals.PriortoworkingatMetaphorandfoundingRedBrickSystems,Ralphco-inventedtheStarworkstationatXeroxsPaloAltoResearchCenter(PARC).RalphhashisPh.D.inElectricalEngineeringfromStanfordUniversity.

    TheKimballGroupisthesourcefordimensionalDW/BIconsultingandeducation,consistentwithourbest-sellingToolkitbookseries,DesignTips,andaward-winningarticles.Visitwww.kimballgroup.comformoreinformation.

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    EssentialStepsfortheIntegratedEDW

    WhatDoesanIntegratedEnterpriseDataWarehouse(EDW)WhatDoesanIntegratedEnterpriseDataWarehouse(EDW)WhatDoesanIntegratedEnterpriseDataWarehouse(EDW)WhatDoesanIntegratedEnterpriseDataWarehouse(EDW)Deliver?Deliver?Deliver?Deliver?

    ThemissionstatementfortheintegratedEDWistoprovidetheplatformforbusinessanalysistobeappliedconsistentlyacrosstheenterprise.Aboveall,thismissionstatementdemandsconsistencyacrossbusinessprocesssubjectareas

    andtheirassociateddatabases.Consistencyrequiresdetailedtextualdescriptionsofentitiessuchascustomers,products,locations,andcalendarstobeapplieduniformlyacrosssubjectareas,usingstandardizeddatavalues.Ofcourse,thisisafundamentaltenetofmasterdatamanagement(MDM).

    Consistencyrequiresaggregatedgroupingssuchastypes,categories,flavors,colors,andzonesdefinedwithinentitiestohavethesameinterpretationsacrosssubjectareas.Thiscanbeviewedasahigherlevelrequirementonthetextualdescriptionsdescribedinthepreviousparagraph.

    ConsistencyrequiresthatconstraintsposedbyBIapplicationswhichattemptto

    harvestthevalueofconsistenttextdescriptionsandgroupingsbeappliedwithidenticalapplicationlogicacrosssubjectareas.Forinstance,constrainingonaproductcategoryshouldalwaysbedrivenfromafieldnamedCategoryfoundintheProductdimension.

    Consistencyrequiresthatnumericfactsarerepresentedconsistentlyacrosssubjectareassothatitmakessensetocombinethemincomputationsandcomparethemtoeachother,perhapswithratiosordifferences.Forinstance,ifRevenueisanumericfactreportedfrommultiplesubjectareas,thenthedefinitionsofeachoftheserevenueinstancesmustbethesame.

    Consistencyrequiresthatinternationaldifferencesinlanguages,locationdescriptions,timezones,currencies,andbusinessrulesberesolvedtoallowalloftheaboveconsistencyrequirementstobeachieved!

    Consistencyrequiresthatauditing,compliance,authentication,andauthorizationfunctionsbeappliedinthesamewayacrosssubjectareas.

    Finally,consistencyimpliescoordinationwithindustrystandardsfordatacontent,dataexchange,andreporting,wherethosestandardsimpacttheenterprise.TypicalstandardsincludeACORD(insurance),MISMO(mortgages),SWIFTandNACHA(financialservices),HIPAAandHL7(healthcare),RosettaNet(manufacturing),andEDI(procurement).

    DrillingAcrossistheUltimateLitmusTestforIntegrationDrillingAcrossistheUltimateLitmusTestforIntegrationDrillingAcrossistheUltimateLitmusTestforIntegrationDrillingAcrossistheUltimateLitmusTestforIntegration

    EvenanEDWthatmeetsalloftheconsistencyrequirementsdescribedabovemustadditionallyprovideamechanismfordeliveringintegratedreportsandanalysesfromBItools,attachedtomanydatabaseinstances,possiblyhostedonremote,incompatiblesystems.Wecallthisdrillingacross.DrillingacrossistheessentialactoftheintegratedEDW.Whenwedrillacross,wegatherresultsfromseparatebusinessprocesssubjectareasandthenalignorcombinetheseresultsintoasingleanalysis.

    Forexample,supposeourintegratedEDWspansmanufacturing,distributionand

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    EssentialStepsfortheIntegratedEDW

    retailsalesinabusinessthatsellsaudio/visualsystems.Wellassumethateachofthesesubjectareasissupportedbyaseparatetransactionprocessingsystem.AproperlyconstructeddrillacrossreportcouldlooklikeFigure1.

    Figure1.AThreeFactTableDrillAcrossReportFigure1.AThreeFactTableDrillAcrossReportFigure1.AThreeFactTableDrillAcrossReportFigure1.AThreeFactTableDrillAcrossReport

    ThefirsttwocolumnsarerowheadersfromtheProductandCalendarconformeddimensions,respectively.Theremainingthreefactcolumnseachcomefromseparatedatabases,namelymanufacturing,distribution,andretailsales.ThisdeceptivelysimplereportcanonlybeproducedinaproperlyintegratedEDW.Inparticular,theProductandCalendardimensionsmustbeavailableinallthreeseparatedatabases,andtheCategoryandPeriodattributeswithinthosedimensionsmusthaveidenticalcontentsandinterpretations.Althoughthemetricsinthethreefactcolumnsaredifferent,themeaningofthemetricsmustbeconsistentacrossproductcategoriesandtimes.

    YoumustunderstandandappreciatethetightconstraintsontheintegratedEDWenvironmentdemandedbytheabovereport.Ifyoudont,youwontunderstandthiswhitepaper,andyouwonthavethepatiencetostudythedetailedstepsdescribedbelow.Or,toputthedesignchallengeinotherterms,ifyoueventuallybuildasuccessfulintegratedEDW,youwillhavevisitedeveryissueinthispaper.So,withthosewarnings,readon!

    TheOrganizationalChallengesofProvidinganIntegratedEDWTheOrganizationalChallengesofProvidinganIntegratedEDWTheOrganizationalChallengesofProvidinganIntegratedEDWTheOrganizationalChallengesofProvidinganIntegratedEDW

    TheintegratedEDWdeliverablesdescribedaboveareadauntinglistindeed.But

    forthesedeliverablestoevenbepossible,theenterprisemustmakeaprofoundcommitment,startingfromtheexecutivesuite.Theseparatedivisionsoftheenterprisemusthaveasharedvisionofthevalueofdataintegration,andtheymustanticipatethestepsofcompromiseanddecisionmakingthatwillberequired.Thisvisioncanonlycomefromtheseniorexecutivesoftheenterprise,whomustspeakveryclearlyonthevalueofdataintegration.

    ExistingmasterdatamanagementprojectsprovideanenormousboostfortheintegratedEDW,sincepresumablytheexecutiveteamalreadyunderstandsandapprovesthecommitmenttobuildingandmaintainingmasterdata.AgoodMDM

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    EssentialStepsfortheIntegratedEDW

    resourcegreatlysimplifies,butdoesnoteliminate,theneedfortheEDWteamtobuildthestructuresnecessaryfordatawarehouseintegration.

    Inmanyorganizations,achicken-and-eggdilemmaexists,astowhetherMDMisrequiredbeforeanintegratedEDWispossible,orwhethertheEDWteamcreatestheMDMresources.Often,alowprofileEDWefforttobuildconformeddimensionssolelyfordatawarehousepurposesmorphsintoafull-fledgedMDM

    effortthatisonthecriticalpathtosupportingmainlineoperationalsystems.Inourclassessince1993,wehaveshownabackwardpointingarrowleadingfromcleaneddatawarehousedatatooperationalsystems.Intheearlydays,wesighedwistfullyandwishedthatthesourcesystemscaredaboutclean,consistentdata.Now,morethanfifteenyearslater,weseemtobegettingourwish!

    ConformedDimensionsandFactsConformedDimensionsandFactsConformedDimensionsandFactsConformedDimensionsandFacts

    Sincetheearliestdaysofdatawarehousing, conformeddimensionshavebeenusedtoconsistentlylabelandconstrainseparatedatasources.WelearnedaboutconformeddimensionsfromA.C.Nielsenin1983when,atMetaphorComputerSystems,webroughtNielsenssyndicatedscannerdatatogetherwithproduct

    shipmentsdataatconsumerpackagegoodscompanies.Theideabehindconformeddimensionsisverysimple:twodimensionsareconformediftheycontainoneormorecommonfields,whosecontentsaredrawnfromthesamedomains.Thatresultsinconstraintsandlabelshavingthesamecontentandmeaningwhenappliedagainstseparatedatasources.

    Conformedfactsaresimplynumericmeasuresthathavethesamebusinessandmathematicalinterpretationssothattheymaybecomparedandcomputedagainsteach

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