Database And Data Warehousing Design
Factors supporting the need for a data warehouse
Due to the enormous amount data from different sources, the company needs a system to help if leverage its data so as to obtain the desired outcome. In order to maintain competitive advantage in the market, the company needs to use its information as an asset to make decisions. To use the information, the company needs a means of gathering, storage, and analyzing the data. The development and implementation of the data warehouse will provide the following benefits:
- The data warehouse will be able to handle the increasing data that the company is receiving. In addition, the data warehouse will be able to process data from a variety of sources containing both structured and unstructured data. Thus this will facilitate the need to develop a data warehouse.
- The data warehouse will be aligned to the strategic objectives of the company. Therefore, data processing will be carried out according to the specific needs of the company. The need for a system that will be aligned to the strategic vision of the company will, therefore, facilitate the need to develop a data warehouse.
- The data warehouse will provide the company with a secure platform which can be used by the staff to perform their activities. Thus, this will facilitate the need for the company to develop a data warehouse.
- The data warehouse will enable the collection of data from all the departments of the company into a central location. This will allow comprehensive processing of data in one central location. The results of data processing will reflect the performance of the entire company and not a specific department. This will enable quick and quality decision making which the company needs. Thus, there is a need to develop a data warehouse.
- The data warehouse will be constructed using standard interfaces which will allow interoperability between systems. This will facilitate outsourcing some of the activities such as data backup into other companies like cloud service providers. Thus, this facilitates the need to develop a data warehouse (March & Hevner, 2007).
Best practices that the company should follow
There are various best practices which must be followed by the company in order to develop a data warehouse that will meet the requirements of all the stakeholders.
The data warehouse should comply with the Information Technology (IT) requirements. These include the development of standard interfaces and data security requirements. The data warehouse should meet all the legal requirements of the industry.
The data warehouse should be treated as an information asset of the company. Therefore, the data warehouse should be aligned to the strategic vision of the company. There should be a thorough analysis of all the requirements of the company before development of the warehouse. In addition, all the stakeholders of the data warehouse need to be comprehensively involved. This will ensure that the data warehouse will meet all the requirements.
The data warehouse should not be developed at once (Dung, Rahayu & Taniar, 2007). The best practice is to construct the data warehouse in phases so as to ensure that all the requirements are fully satisfied at each stage. In addition, carrying out the development in staged will allow the flexibility to accommodate any necessary changes which may be required.
The other best practice is to ensure that the data warehouse is usable. Usability is an important aspect of any information system. It will be a great loss to the company to construct an appropriate data warehouse which is not usable to the users of the company. Poor usability means that the employees of the company find it difficult to learn and use the system optimally. There, the data warehouse should be usable to ensure that it will be highly productive.
The other best practice is associated with accessibility. The data warehouse should be accessible to all the users of the company as required. The data warehouse should be used as a center for unlimited access of information to its users. However, access to information should be controlled to ensure that only authorized people can access the information (Jukic, 2006). It is important to have the data warehouse administrator who will be responsible for controlling access to the warehouse. The users of the data warehouse need to be authenticated by use of authentication mechanisms such as use of a username and a password.
Schema supporting the company’s business and processes
In order to develop a suitable schema that will support the business and operations of the company, the following assumptions will be made. The first assumption is that the company operates in the health care sector. The company collects patient and hospital data for storage and analysis. The company collects patient and hospital data from its various branches in the country. The Extraction-transformation-loading model will be used. The diagram below indicates a star data schema which shows how the data warehouse will monitor hospital and patient information between two of its branches. The star schema shown below is made up of one fact table and a four-dimensional table.
Figure 1: Star Schema for the Warehouse
Figure 2: Flow of data in the data warehouse
Figure 3: Entity Relationship Diagram
Figure 4: Patient registration data flow diagram
Dung, X. T., Rahayu, W., & Taniar, D. (2007). A high performance integrated web data warehousing. Cluster Computing, 10(1), 95-109.
Jukic, N. (2006). Modeling strategies and alternatives for data warehousing projects. Communications of the ACM, 49(4), 83-88.
March, S. T., & Hevner, A. R. (2007). Integrated decision support systems: A data warehousing perspective. Decision Support Systems, 43(3), 1031-1043.
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