I'm involved in data warehouse management and design and am wondering if you could you please outline the procedures required to operationalize a data warehouse?

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Data warehouse management and design can be complicated -- but doable. If by operationalize, you mean that you wish to put the data warehouse into a production environment where the users are able to count on it 24/7 for real business decision making with a high degree of predictability, I give you these 10 things:

Data warehouse management and design tips:


  1. Implement strict change control for structure, reports and new data.
  2. Implement a 24 x 7 bullet-proof on-call rotation for support.
  3. Implement a user support program where users are able to call for technical or business support.
  4. Implement a user training program to educate new users on how to use the data warehouse.
  5. Implement a performance monitoring program to monitor common and important queries.
  6. Implement metadata, describing the data in the warehouse, that is useful to users.
  7. Build and publish an iteration plan for the next two to three years describing anticipated data warehouse enhancements over time.
  8. Establish business data stewardship by subject area.
  9. Utilize the data stewards to establish a data quality program.
  10. Communicate all of the above via your intranet page or other means of communication.

Note: I do not say you must get a specific technology, provide a specific level of performance or necessarily have x years of atomic data in order to operationalize a data warehouse. That is all according to user need.


This was first published in December 2005

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