24 BW Design and Data Modeling Tips for Optimal ETL

  • by Catherine Roze, Senior BW Consultant
  • Joffy Mathew, Senior BW Consultant, Quinnox Inc.
  • October 1, 2003
In terms of performance, you get the biggest return on ETL optimization in the design and modeling stages. We give you tips in six categories: general design and data modeling, PSA design, InfoCube design, ODS design, Dimensions and characteristics design, and aggregates.


The extract, transform, and load (ETL) process is a key aspect of designing and maintaining a data warehouse. It might constitute 60 to 75 percent of the work and cost in a business intelligence project. ETL also represents most of the risks in terms of data loss, recovery, system downtime, and untimely reporting.

ETL optimization is a complex topic and involves various factors with a high level of dependencies such as data modeling, query, and Basis parameters. Here are ETL optimization tips and techniques — 24 in all — organized in six categories:

  • General design and data modeling
  • PSA design
  • InfoCube design
  • ODS design
  • Dimensions and characteristics design
  • Aggregates

Catherine Roze

Catherine Roze is a senior BI consultant with more than seven years of full life cycle experience in SAP reporting and SAP NetWeaver BW with special focus on SAP NetWeaver BW enterprise reporting, performance optimization, and SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator. A seasoned BI professional, she has contributed to more than 15 SAP NetWeaver BW implementation projects for Fortune 500 companies. Catherine holds an MBA and MS (industrial technology) and is the author of SAP BW Certification: A Business Information Warehouse Study Guide.

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Joffy Mathew

Joffy Mathew is a senior BW consultant with over nine years of experience implementing enterprise business applications and business process. As a seasoned SAP BW professional, he has contributed to many BW implementations in Fortune 500 companies in the distribution, trading, travel, and consumer industries during the last three years. Prior to that, he was a technical consultant in LIS and SD modules. He has a thorough knowledge of the BW and SAP R/3 systems, especially in the area of data extraction and configuration.

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