Data warehousing is more an art-form than cookie cutter science. The
business variables and technical risks are very unique to each installation. The
business users have different goals and expectations. Data warehousing is more
often successful than not if there is a reservoir of data warehousing expertise in-
This article will focus on the data warehousing design methodologies most
commonly proposed. These designs are in an evolving flux as business needs and
technical cost change.
Quite often the design chosen will be a combination of the methodologies below
and additional requirements - the data warehouse design third way. I am a
proponent of the third way data warehousing design. Third way takes into
account the business specifics and needs of the installing company and technical
resources available. It uses the best design patterns of both methodologies plus
additional requirements unique to the business.
The two major design methodologies of data warehousing are from Ralph
Kimball and Bill Inmon. The design methodologies developed by Kimball and
Inmon have lines drawn in the sand.
Kimball views data warehousing as a constituency of data marts. Data marts are
focused on delivering business objectives for departments in the organization.
And the data warehouse is a conformed dimension of the data marts. Hence a
unified view of the enterprise can be obtain from the dimension modeling on a
local departmental level.
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