Technical Blog

Change Management for Business Intelligence Projects: Part 2

Leading the Case for Change
In part 1, last week, I described how a Change Management Framework can be used to consider and plan the activities for your proposed change. This week in part 2, I will describe more about what’s involved to help sell your change and actually get the organisational commitment to do it. Unfortunately, with so many competing demands, a good idea by itself often isn’t enough. You need to fight to get attention, and to get commitment from your management team that thdea is worthwhile pursuing. Read More...

Star Schema: The Complete Reference

Back in 2008, I was lucky enough to attend a Dimensional Data Modeling course in Auckland run by Ralph Kimball and Margy Ross. My team and I were thrilled at the opportunity to meet two “rock stars” of the Data Warehousing world (yes, sad geeks that we were). Being taught dimensional modeling techniques by the man famous for kicking it all off was a great experience. Although Ralph didn’t claim to be the inventor of dimensional modeling or star schemas, his workshops offered through the Kimball Group, and books such as The Data Warehouse Toolkit were instrumental in getting the techniques widely known and deployed as the de facto standard for data warehousing. To those in our part of the world at least, Ralph Kimball was “Mr Data Warehousing”. Read More...

Change Management for Business Intelligence Projects: Part 1

Change Management is a critical activity for any project. Note that we’re talking about Change Management from a project and business perspective – not the ITIL process). In this context, Change Management has the goal of re-inventing your organisation so that it transitions from one set of business processes or systems to a new (and hopefully improved) model. Although the transition may involve changing technologies, it’s really more about people and processes. Read More...

Business Intelligence: The Data Analysis Phase

I think every IT Professional has a specialist subject which they feel most passionate about. Mine is data. If you’re building Business Intelligence or reporting systems, having good quality and well understood data is absolutely paramount. Unfortunately, I’ve lost count of the times when I’ve seen system developers jump straight for their tools - sometimes pushed by business managers and project managers who just want their systems delivered. They focus on building automated data feeds and reports, without truly understanding what the data is, and what it means to the business. This results in a lot of money being spent on something that doesn’t actually work - and which generates misleading reports that destroy everyone’s credibility.

Sometimes you need to go back to basics - and the most basic requirement for any Data Warehouse or BI system is data. Read More...
© 2015 Andrew Mercer