Data warehouse health check and revitalisation

Take your data warehouse forward

The constant and rapid evolution in technologies necessitates regular upgrades and evaluations of key business enablers, such as data warehouses, for it to sustainably provide valuable advantages to an organisation.

Data warehouse revitalisation is not a quick fix. It’s a process designed to get a BI programme back on track by correcting past mistakes, remove dead wood and ultimately deliver the required information to the business as correctly and efficiently as possible.

What is data warehouse revitalisation?

Overhauling your outdated data warehouse starts with a health check. This involves careful attention to its current status, which will determine what needs to be done. The next step is a gap analysis and a roadmap for the way forward, through which the data warehouse can be brought back on track and in line with your organisation’s most vital and pressing business needs.

“It’s about moving the data warehouse forward with a focus on business needs rather than on data” – Martin Rennhackkamp, data warehousing specialist

When to revitalise

The best time to do this is when an organisation moves up the information maturity chain – when it starts to view data as an organisational asset. It can also be implemented when the data warehouse infrastructure becomes too costly or problematic in its performance. Revitalisation should also be done when the existing data warehouse’s ROI becomes questionable – when its usage seems to dwindle, or when the business does not get the information it requires to make decisions and manage its performance.

How it’s done

Part of PBT Group’s health check and data warehouse assessment includes an analysis of the underlying business drivers, objectives and overall context of business needs that have been established.

Assessment strategy:

Usage assessment

The aim of the usage assessment is to determine the users of the data warehouse – who accesses the data warehouse, to what extent their information needs are addressed, their usage patterns, their use of additional information sources and in general their satisfaction with using the data warehouse and the information it provides. This is also used to determine the potential usage of the data warehouse.

Information architecture assessment

The information architecture assessment includes an analysis of the logical and physical data structures that are in place – their feasibility, completeness, correctness, documentation and suitability to the business requirements.

Technical architecture assessment

The technical architecture assessment looks at the current hardware, software and network infrastructure of the warehouse and examines the implementation aspects of the physical database designs. The technical architecture assessment seeks to identify any technical risks or constraints that may exist with regards to performance, maintenance, scalability, data distribution, disaster recovery and sizing.

Organisational assessment

The organisational assessment includes an examination of the existing organisational structure and then the identification of the roles and responsibilities of both the technology and the business community that need to be addressed.

Project planning and methodology assessment

The project planning and methodology assessment is performed to review the entire data warehouse programme and the various project plans, including the tasks, estimated timing and allocated resources.

Data quality assessment

During this quality assessment, aspects such as completeness, accuracy, timeliness, delivery and cost are quantified, to determine the overall degree of data quality of the data warehouse.