Data Warehouse Governance

An organisation that is embarking on a data warehousing project is undertaking a long-term development and maintenance programme of a computer system. This system will be critical to the organisation and cost a significant amount of money, therefore control of the system is vital. Governance defines the model the organisation will use to ensure optimal use and re- use of the data warehouse and enforcement of corporate policies (e.g. business design, technical design and application security) and ultimately derive value for money.

This paper has identified five sources of change to the system and the aspects of the system that these sources of change will influence in order to assist the organisation to develop standards and structures to support the development and maintenance of the solution. These standards and structures must then evolve, as the programme develops to meet its changing needs.

“Documentation is not understanding, process is not discipline, formality is not skill”

The best governance must only be an aid to the development and not an end in itself. Data Warehouses are successful because of good understanding, discipline and the skill of those involved. On the other hand systems built to a template without understanding, discipline and skill will inevitably deliver a system that fails to meet the users’ needs and sooner rather than later will be left on the shelf, or maintained at a very high cost but with little real use.

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