Oops! The input is malformed! Reinventing Business: Enterprise Data Warehouse Business Opportunities for Manufacturing, Part 9 by Allen Messerli - BeyeNETWORK
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Reinventing Business: Enterprise Data Warehouse Business Opportunities for Manufacturing, Part 9

Originally published November 4, 2010

Part 1 of this series defined the EDW and summarized its data contents. Parts 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 described and quantified 30 major benefit opportunities. Part 7 contained 10 business analysis examples for enabling benefits and summarized the benefit potentials as a percent of annual revenues. Part 8 continued with a description of 30 best practices to ensure success. This installment briefly describes the governance process and provides a recommended organizational structure for a manufacturing EDW.


An EDW is a strategic business decision, with governance starting at the top. It should be supported and approved by senior business executives. The Executive Committee should approve the vision, long-term plan, and funding for Phase 1. After Phase 1 has been successfully completed, subsequent phases should be approved at the same level. The entire EDW project should entail about four or five financial phases, each capitalized and amortized over three or four years. The Executive Committee should be updated at least twice per year on EDW progress and should provide high-level direction on new corporate needs or objectives.

The second level of governance should include appropriate business leaders, or IT Directors, from each functional area and business unit participating in a Steering Committee, meeting monthly with the Enterprise Information Management VP or Director. This EDW steering committee should review and approve more specific EDW priorities and deliverables.

Subject area owners (SAOs), who report to the EIM Data Management Director (see below), should maintain and conduct subject area user forums representing EDW subject area data content. The “product” of the EDW is data or information, so this is a data-centric governance process. The SAOs are responsible for working closely with businesspeople in all areas who use the subject area data, understanding data requirements, determining priorities, and scheduling EDW data enhancements (releases). SAOs assure that data meets the needs of all business units and functional areas without redundancy. Note, though, that they are not responsible for BI applications. Subject area owners and the user forums are the critical governance level assuring EDW success.


The EDW represents a significantly different approach than traditional IT systems and application organizations, where transaction processing and reporting have been aligned with respective business functional areas (finance, sales, marketing, supply chain, etc.). The traditional IT alignment evolved over time because reporting was typically done from transaction databases or databases aligned with functional areas, and this may still be needed. However, the EDW support organization becomes a separate entity supporting all functional areas, thus requiring an independent support organization. This section defines an EDW support organization, roles and responsibilities.

A. Enterprise Information Management

The title enterprise information management (EIM) perhaps best defines the responsibilities of the organization supporting the EDW. It is appropriate to distinguish between the EDW itself and the supporting organization. EIM is logically a component of IT but is distinct from the operational functional areas and infrastructure, and therefore should report directly to the CIO. It integrates people with technical skills and business experience. It is important that the EIM VP or Director controls the resources critical to success of the EDW. He or she must have strong leadership skills.

The following areas of responsibility within EIM are recommended, with roles and responsibilities defined within each area. A Director or Senior Manager should lead each group.

1. Data Management Director
This group is responsible for the integration, standardization, and organization of the data in the EDW. Responsibilities include:

  • The enterprise logical data model defining and encompassing all EDW information
  • Data standardization assuring that all data is consistently defined, regardless of source
  • Data acquisition or extraction from source systems (done cooperatively with source system groups who then assume ongoing maintenance responsibility)
  • Data transformation converting from source data standards to EDW data standards
  • Metadata describing EDW data, source systems, transformations, and people or organizations responsible for entering data into source systems or managing data quality
  • Subject area owners (SAOs) of each major data category - e.g., customer, product, orders, invoices, trade funds, rebates, inventory, vendors, purchasing, raw materials and supplies, demand and supply plans, assets, general ledger, HR, etc. [SAOs are a key part of the management or governance process described above.]
2. Data Transport, Load, and Operations Director
This group is responsible for the operational aspects of getting data to the EDW, loading it and meeting performance requirements. Responsibilities include:

  • Transport and control from source systems to assure timely and complete data (typically using a transport tool like MQ Series)
  • Physical database design – performance optimized but in accordance with the logical database model (including data summarization driven by usage and performance requirements but retaining transparency to users, dynamic changes, and drill down to atomic detail)
  • Views implementation to simplify application development, enable database security implementation, and provide the appearance of “virtual data marts”
  • Query prioritization administration to support required service level agreements and response times for query categories
  • Query tuning including monitoring problem queries and assisting query developers with performance issues
  • Managing EDW performance and capacity (using “canary” test queries to measure response times for various query types, priorities, and time periods)
3.    Quality Assurance Director
  • Testing all ETL processes and control activation of source systems to assure that incoming data to the EDW accurately reflects the sources
  • Provides feedback during testing process to correct source system data
  • Provides ongoing feedback from load processes to identify likely source data problems
  • Tests ETL processes after any source system changes affecting source data
  • Assures that all source system areas understand their responsibility for maintaining extract and transformation processes
4. Business Intelligence Support and Training Director
  • Supporting the selected business intelligence tool including functionality of the BI applications and servers
  • Coordinating and supporting the migration from existing data marts to the EDW
  • Providing ongoing training for BI tool developers and end users encompassing use of the tools and the EDW metadata
  • Supports the dynamic hierarchy maintenance tool and process
  • Administers security policies and processes security approval changes
5. Shared Applications Development Director
  • Identifies all requirements for shared applications internally and externally
  • Builds and maintains analytic and simple query applications
  • Understands and uses appropriate development technologies for optimal performance
B. Business Unit BI Support
[In large enterprises, this function is typically distributed into support areas aligned with each major business unit or staff function. These people need to be fully committed to the EDW and not supporting competing business intelligence activities.]
  • Understands and defines business requirements for all business units and functional areas
  • Supports the end business users with appropriate portals, ad hoc queries, and reports
  • Assures that business users have easy access to information with minimal training required
  • Helps business users establish and maintain metrics, KPIs and goals to drive the “role-based, event-driven” culture
Part 10 will summarize and conclude this series on enterprise data warehousing in manufacturing.

SOURCE: Reinventing Business: Enterprise Data Warehouse Business Opportunities for Manufacturing, Part 9

  • Allen MesserliAllen Messerli
    Allen Messerli, President of Messerli Enterprise Systems LLC, specializes in enterprise data warehouse consulting, and has provided vision, direction and leadership for 400 major enterprises globally. Previously he had more than thirty years experience in a wide variety of positions at 3M, with an extensive record of successfully managing large-scale, innovative information technology solutions across supply chain, manufacturing, sales and marketing functions. 3M is a diverse global manufacturing company, with 40 business units operating in all countries and selling 500,000 products through most market channels. Al conceived, justified, architected, and directed implementation of 3M’s Global Enterprise Data Warehouse, which contributed more than $1 billion net business benefits with a very large ROI, and is now a global best practice enterprise data warehouse. He has extensive leadership experience in industry, national, and international logistics and electronic commerce organizations, and was a pioneer in electronic business and data warehousing, often speaking on these subjects around the world.

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