E-Data: Turning Data into Information with Data Warehousing


Written especially for these business professionals, e-Data: Turning Data into Information with Data Warehousing covers data warehousing and its surrounding technologies in a straightforward and engaging way, illustrating how companies are leveraging their data warehouses to serve a wide range of business needs. This book clearly lays out what business people should know about data warehouse implementation and the best techniques for evaluating and justifying new data warehouses and data marts." "e-Data provides ...
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Written especially for these business professionals, e-Data: Turning Data into Information with Data Warehousing covers data warehousing and its surrounding technologies in a straightforward and engaging way, illustrating how companies are leveraging their data warehouses to serve a wide range of business needs. This book clearly lays out what business people should know about data warehouse implementation and the best techniques for evaluating and justifying new data warehouses and data marts." "e-Data provides invaluable information about data warehousing as a whole, its development and strategic value, the technologies that support it, and its effect on corporate decision making - information that will enable you to turn a gold mine of raw data into valuable information, position your company for market leadership, and enhance customer satisfaction.
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Editorial Reviews

This book provides the basics in data warehousing, including definitions of key terms, descriptions of emerging marketing applications, staffing and hiring tips for development teams, questions to ask vendors and consultants, and tips for evaluating effectiveness. Dyche, a partner with Baseline Consulting Group, a firm focusing on business intelligence solutions, uses case studies to showcase the success stories in this new and evolving field. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780201710564
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley Professional
  • Publication date: 3/28/2000
  • Edition description: CUSTOM

Table of Contents

About the Author
Pt. I Getting the Value 1
Ch. 1 What is a Data Warehouse Anyway? 3
Ch. 2 Decision Support from the Bottom Up 23
Ch. 3 Data Warehouses and Database Marketing 43
Ch. 4 Data Warehousing by Industry 75
Pt. II Getting the Technology 133
Ch. 5 The Underlying Technologies: A Primer 135
Ch. 6 What Managers Should Know About Implementation 165
Ch. 7 Value or Vapor? Finding the Right Vendors 201
Pt. III Getting Ready 229
Ch. 8 Data Warehousing's Business Value Proposition 231
Ch. 9 The Perils and Pitfalls 257
Ch. 10 What To Do Now 285
App. Haven't Had Enough? Suggested Reading 321
Index 327
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E-commerce. Knowledge management. CRM. ERP. Smart cards. Data mining. It's true that in the vast realm of technology, the term data warehousing has recently ceded ground to some whiz-bang buzzwords. Even with data warehouse adoption rates steadily increasing by 30 percent a year, the Web and its patois have drowned out discussions of even more advanced technological developments, rendering state-of-the-art technical breakthroughs a second-page story.

At first, I was a bit depressed by all the Web hype. Inasmuch as data delivery was critical to the enterprise, you still needed to store that data someplace, Internet or no. With all the hullaballoo about Y2K and Web portals, had data warehousing simply faded away?Recent customer experiences quickly shook me awake. Not only have data warehouses not faded away, they've assumed center stage again. While certain terminology might ebb and flow—data warehouses are now synonymous with "decision support" and "business intelligence" and naturally symbiotic with all things Web—the data warehouse is in fact the hub in the wheel when it comes to many companies' most important strategic initiatives.Attend any conference these days, whether focused on industry, marketing, or technology, and there's bound to be a presentation on customer loyalty programs, retention, or customer relationship management (CRM). Sometimes supply chains and even business process reengineering still rear their heads. The point here is that regardless of what the business initiative is, the data warehouse will likely play a central role in its execution by making key data available to a cross-section of the business.In thisbook, the term e-data refers to data that has been intelligently modeled, cleansed, and consolidated into a data warehouse so that it's meaningful and useable by business people. The fact is, e-data is more important than ever. Whether you have a data warehouse, a data mart, or a decision support application (chapter 1 defines the differences), or are considering stepping up your CRM, e-commerce, or target marketing programs, having clean, consolidated information is no longer a nice add-on; it's a necessity. This book explains how e-data and a data warehouse can solve a wide range of business problems and provides real-world examples from a diverse set of industries, countries, and companies.The Book and Its Purpose
A lot has been written about data warehouses. Development methodologies, database design conventions, and system architectures have been surveyed in a myriad of technology books, most of them discerning and clear. These books have pinpointed a market eager for information on data warehousing's technology components and how to integrate them. They are important for practitioners, offering tips on eclectic subspecialties such as data replication, star schema design, concurrency planning, and horizontal database partitioning. They deconstruct the development lifecycle and guide readers through critical processes that are fundamental to data warehouse development.This is not one of those books.Rather, it's a book for those of us who aren't interested in lofty technical dissertations but whose work nevertheless touches corporate data in some way. Those who are keen on getting the information the data warehouse can deliver, are hiring staff who will use it, and are interfacing with their technical colleagues in making it all work.We need to understand what data warehouse technology really does, in common terms, and why it's right for our companies. While we're not interested in implementing it, we'd like to differentiate the well-worn buzzwords. We'd appreciate some implementation scenarios as they pertain to data warehouses and why they're used, and checklists of success criteria. We want to know how e-data can aid in marketing, assist our companies in winning customers—sometimes for the second time—and help us eat our competitors' collective lunch. We want trenchant examples and are hungry for tips from those who've realized the vision. We want to understand what data warehouses will do for us, as well as what they will not.In short, this is a book for the rest of us.You the Reader
Readers of this book are most likely business professionals with limited technical expertise or people who have learned a bit about technology in spite of themselves. However, technicians and practitioners might find this book a refreshing review, especially in light of the real-world case studies it presents. The audience for this book thus encompasses a wide range of readers, including those listed below.Executives and managers will glean a lot of practical information from this book, both in terms of how to tell whether a data warehouse is the right solution for the business problem at hand and how to determine whether an existing data warehouse is living up to its value proposition. Businesspeople whose thirst for new information alone is often justification for a data warehouse will be interested in how data warehouses are being used in various industry and marketing capacities. The book introduces concepts and terms that managers and end-users alike can learn in order to speak the same language as their information technology (IT) colleagues, ensuring that their business requirements are understood and addressed, and offers several checklists against which to gauge data warehouse readiness.Marketing experts, including product managers, merchandisers, and strategic planners, can read about key corporate initiatives that directly leverage data warehouses. IT managers will find this book a practical tool in confirming the requirements for successful data warehouse delivery. The book includes a variety of metrics and success factors with which technology management can measure its efforts or bolster its preparatory activities. Consultants, too, will find this book useful; they can employ the various checklists and matrices in order to evaluate staff and review delivery success metrics, as well as to prepare their practices for what's on the horizon. Project managers, both administrative and technical, can translate the information for their own implementation strategies, supplementing both their project plans and the methodologies that drive them. Finally, technical practitioners and implementation team members can use this book for review; in the process they may discover a thing or two about how other companies are implementing their data warehouses and as a result refine existing development activities. Content Overview
This book provides an evolving look at data warehousing, from its various definitions to its place in the overall corporate infrastructure to its variety of uses. You can either read the chapters linearly or go directly to the areas that interest you most. Certain readers might surmise that the book focuses on the technology platform, the data warehouse hardware itself. This approach would be like writing a book about television and discussing the electronic circuitry of the television set rather than the actual shows. While the book does explain the underlying technology involved in data warehousing by way of framing the picture, it nevertheless focuses more on "what's inside" the data warehouse, not to mention the prevalent audience. In short, the book is about what data warehouses do for a business.The book is divided into three parts, which categorize the chapters into high-level areas. Below is a thumbnail sketch of the book's organization and contents.Part I: Getting the Value
Chapter 1, "What Is a Data Warehouse Anyway?," discusses why data warehouses have seized hold of the corporate Zeitgeist, introducing some key concepts and exposing some of the trite aphorisms currently touted by the so-called experts.Chapter 2, "Decision Support from the Bottom Up," presents an e-data analysis taxonomy for the data warehouse. It describes the four main types of business intelligence that call for data and offers some examples on their usage.Chapter 3, "Data Warehouses and Database Marketing," outlines both the popular and the emerging database marketing applications that focus on customers while leveraging data, explaining their origins and business benefits.Chapter 4, "Data Warehousing by Industry," covers the gamut of industry sectors and what they're doing with e-data and data warehouses, using case studies to illustrate various usage scenarios from real-world companies.Part II: Getting the Technology
Chapter 5, "The Underlying Technologies: A Primer," not only presents some of the baseline technologies and technical concepts involved in data warehousing but also covers some of the technical activities involved in development. Chapter 6, "What Managers Should Know About Implementation," exposes the often arcane world of data warehouse development, the methodologies it employs, and some of the well-worn staffing mistakes that get development managers into trouble. In addition, it offers some tactical hiring guidelines for you to use when conducting your next round of interviews.Chapter 7, "Value or Vapor? Finding the Right Vendors," presents metrics for assessing the data warehouse solutions that fit best with your organization and its unique needs, including hardware, database, application, and consulting evaluation criteria.Part III: Getting Ready
Chapter 8, "Data Warehousing's Business Value Proposition," explains how to justify your data warehouse in terms of both "hard" and "soft" benefits and offers ways to continue justifying the warehouse over time. Chapter 9, "The Perils and Pitfalls," presents several sets of metrics in order to outline why some customer data warehouses succeed while others fail. Not content with offering the negatives, this chapter concludes with a list of what the "vanguards of data warehousing"—those companies attributing improvements of several orders of magnitude to their data warehouses—have in common when it comes to successful decision support delivery.Chapter 10, "What to Do Now," provides some advice from the trenches on how to continue your data warehousing journey, whether you're a seasoned traveler or are just breaking in your boots.The appendix of supplementary reading material provides a guide to other recent works for those readers who want to learn more about either the business or the technology side of e-data.A Case Study Sneak Preview
This book is replete with both real-world case studies of companies that use data warehouses and profiles of staff members and their roles in data warehouse development teams. For example, you'll see the following processes in action.
  • By using customer segmentation, Bank of America is getting to know its customers even better.
  • Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. is applying the same customer satisfaction principles on which it has built its leading brokerage business to its data warehouse end-users.
  • Qantas Airways was able to predict the Asian economic crisis with the data warehouse, and is gearing up for an encore.
  • GTE is socializing e-data across the enterprise and across the country.
  • The California State Automobile Association is doing more than delivering new marketing programs with its data warehouse, it's motivating cultural change.
  • Canada's largest bank, Royal Bank of Canada, doesn't let different vendors get in the way of delivering best-of-breed e-data across its business.
  • The State of Michigan's Family Independence Agency uses its data warehouse to behave more like a cutting-edge commercial business than a government bureau.
  • Twentieth Century Fox may well change the face of the entertainment industry with its data mart.
These case studies and others should at a minimum serve as examples by which you can measure your own progress with e-data, and at best provide you with some great role models.Requisite Caveats
This book is replete with examples of both successes and failures. It takes on some of data warehousing's sacred cows, including exalted methodologies, big consulting companies, venerated data models, and empire-building managers. Of course, there are exceptions to these and other evils portrayed in the book.Most technology books abstain from discussions of specific vendors for valid and practical reasons. However, because of this book's heavy emphasis on real-world examples, specific vendors pop up here and there, particularly in chapter 4, where most of the case studies mention the company's chosen data warehouse platform.New companies and technologies are emerging every day, and I apologize to those vendors that may have slipped through the cracks. The technologies discussed in the book are those of particular interest to the primary audience, that is, businesspeople, and thus a mere nod of the head to the many worthy data warehouse software companies that target—and are of greater interest to—the IT side of the house.From time to time the vendor discussion will be updated and supplemented. For an updated discussion of emerging data warehouse topics, keep an eye on this book's corresponding Web site: http://www.baseline-consulting.com/e-data.

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