EDW History

Welcome to edwblog.com, an edited technology blog dedicated to the Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW)—with emphasis on the “E”.

Data warehousing has become nearly synonymous with Business Intelligence (BI). BI solutions have matured along with data warehousing.  Evidence for this lies in the growth of applications built on a BI foundation such as customer relationship management (CRM), business performance management (BPM), and industry-specific business analytics and dashboards.  BI is heralded as the full flowering of the EDW’s potential, but is it really?  Vendors have extended BI in many directions.  At last count, we were up to 5 levels of BI.  How far can BI go—6, 7, 100 levels? At what point does BI participate in every aspect of an organization’s business?

On the flip side of BI, companies exploit various technologies to bring order to the operations of the enterprise—enterprise application integration (EAI), enterprise relationship planning (ERP), business activity monitoring (BAM), complex event processing (CEP), and  service-oriented architecture (SOA)—to name a few.  Conventional thinking separates these “real-time” technologies from data warehousing. Vendors strive to incorporate BI capabilities into operational applications, particularly ERP.  But for the most part, BI is relegated to a parallel universe constrained by the laws of “read-only” physics.

Social networking innnovation is changing our lives, and creating huge new data streams with knowedge locked-in. The timing is perfect for BI/EDW to step up to the challenge.  In this “big data” environment, innovations such as streaming analytics, unstructured data integration, and agile BI have from risen in importance from “possible” to “essential”.  Privacy and security protections must become inherent to the data itself, not just an access gate as in the past.

This blog challenges conventional thinking about data warehousing and BI.  I am convinced we can achieve dramatically more effective patterns for enterprise information management—with the EDW as the heart.  Recent progress in data warehouse appliance technology changes the rules, and the future looks bright.  The time-honored Moore’s Law  has been shattered by the explosive growth of data warehouse appliance performance.  The original performance justifications for separating the data warehouse from operational systems are less compelling today.

Beyond the technology arguments, the EDW has much to offer as an organizational change agent.  I have seen companies successfully confront intractable integration problems using the EDW dimensional approach.  Years of development shrink to months.  Business users and IT developers collaborate more effectively, change becomes natural, and management takes greater interest in the data integration process.  The EDW has an amazing potential to simplify things and get people talking in a common language.  These are exciting times indeed for the enterprise data warehouse!

Blog Commenting Procedure

To kick things off, I will introduce thought-proving discussion topics on the New Stuff page.  Posted content is available on the Posts and Comments page, or by selecting from the topic categories in the side-bar menu.  Select the title link to add or read comments at the end of each post.  Please send your topic suggestions to mark@edwblog.com

Happy blogging!

Mark Aukeman
EDW/BI Architect and edwblog.com Host

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