Initially an Enterprise Strategy development effort is conducted which defines a long-term data warehouse vision from the business functionality and a technical architecture viewpoint. Following that, the ECI Agile Approach cycles through the lifecycle phases (Definition, Analysis, Design, etc.) for each increment (an increment could be a data mart or a subject area) and is supported by appropriate Project Management Methods and Enterprise Architecture Methods.
The ECI Agile Approach addresses the custom development of a data warehouse solution in a manner that generates ongoing business benefits as the effort progresses.
It addresses managed growth of the data warehouse through the development of incremental solutions that comply with a full-scale, enterprise data warehouse architecture.
- This holistic approach eliminates the risk of re-development efforts over time.
- The scoped increments are delivered in relatively short timeframes (as quickly as 4 weeks) while complying with the strategic data warehouse architecture.
- The enterprise architecture is designed to provide a solid framework within which the long-term data warehouse can evolve.
This architecture includes the development of a central data warehouse containing organizational-wide data for various functional areas, and the functionality necessary to populate, manage, and access the full-scale data warehouse. The data warehouse also controls and feeds each data mart within the architecture. By establishing this architecture, the strategic data warehouse can grow incrementally while supporting data extensibility and avoiding an un-architected group of data marts.
The ECI Agile project management methodology begins with the Strategy phase and defines the overall data warehouse solution and architecture at a high level. During this effort, the scope of the overall solution, as well as the identification and prioritization of increments, is defined. In addition, an initial technical architecture and the data warehouse architecture are developed. Through this effort, a clear vision and scope is established for the incremental development effort and the implementation roadmap for the strategic data warehouse solution.
The ECI Agile Approach is an effective, proven, and preferred approach for building a data warehouse/data mart solution.
Multiple incremental stages of development, based on the client’s business and information requirements, are built until the overall data warehouse solution is in place. Even after finishing development of the overall solution, a data warehouse is not considered fully complete, due to its evolutionary nature, potentially unlimited growth, and required ongoing administration. Over time, the architecture must be enhanced to address these factors.
At the completion of each increment, an evaluation and review are conducted during the Discovery phase. Once completed, the selection and scope of the next increment is refined. Remember, the increments should have been defined based on the strategy study. It is important to note that each increment follows the same phase sequence, although they may be modified based on the client’s distinct needs.
ECI has successfully implemented many data warehouse solutions using this Agile approach and has proven its efficiency and effectiveness in complex, challenging data environments.