5 Tips for a Successful Global Data Warehouse Project

  • by Gary Nolan, SAP BI Strategic Architect, Sapiex Associates LLC
  • July 1, 2006
Establishing a global enterprise data warehouse (EDW) can involve many unique challenges. Recognizing and negotiating these challenges can yield a global EDW with benefits to the entire organization.
Key Concept
To standardize data gathering and make data more visible across the organization, companies often create an enterprise data warehouse (EDW) to perform global reporting. This EDW gathers data from differing source systems and provides enterprise-level reporting. EDWs provide a single version of the truth across the organization using data from multiple sources and subject areas with a normalized design.

Many companies face more and more requests to view data at a global level. This presents a challenge in many organizations because data exists across the organization or siloed into systems. This does not allow for a quick and easy rollup into a global reporting instance. Often, this type of landscape occurs because developers configured different systems at different times with various objectives. Proper global governance and vision are necessary to assure that this data rolls up properly to a global enterprise data warehouse (EDW).

This also happens when a system’s landscape includes multiple BW or R/3 instances because these systems often do not share common configuration or master data. Most companies report globally even without an EDW. However, this often involves gathering data manually from the various source systems and synchronizing the data manually to a global view. This requires a lot of resources and it’s easy to introduce errors into the data. Figure 1 shows the architecture of a typical EDW.

Gary Nolan

Gary Nolan is an SAP NetWeaver BW-certified consultant and author of Efficient SAP NetWeaver BW Implementation and Upgrade Guide and Efficient SAP NetWeaver BI Implementation and Project Management. Gary specializes in gathering and evaluating requirements, configuring SAP NetWeaver BW, and providing project management, performance management, and data architecture and data modeling expertise. A former platinum consultant with SAP America, Inc., Gary has more than 20 years of SAP experience, working with SAP NetWeaver BW since version 1.2B.

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