It is only by means of good and respectfull discussion that knowledge and insight will evolve. This post should be regarded as such. Furthermore, it is from a good friend from whom I understood that Rick meant to be controversial with these papers.....
This post is a first reaction to the first article in a series of three which were written by a highly respectfull thoughtleader in the field and publisher on the B-Eye-Network; Rick van der Lans. The papers are titled 'The Flaws of the Classic Data Warehouse Architecture'.
This blog post is a reaction to the first part. It deals with the flaws of the classic data warehouse architecture (CDWA) according to Rick. If you wanna know what exactly constitutes a CDWA - I would suggest to read this first part.
Rick signals five flaws which will lead in article two and three to a new architecture. This post is addressing the first flaw. In upcoming postings on this blog I will also adress the other four and I will also respond to the solution he is proposing.
Flaw 1 according to Rick
The CDWA does not support the concept of Operational Business Intelligence. This conclusion is drawn from the fact that the CDWA can not include 100% up-to-date information. Rick concludes that we have to remove storage layers and minimize the copy steps.
My reaction to flaw 1
A metaphor; I am driving my car and suddenly I say 'damn; I wanna fly'. Looking at my car, I can not seem to find the 'fly' button and I therefore conclude that my car is flawed.
Although a bit of a corny metaphor it reflects the core of my criticism. Aparently there is a new requirement called Operational Business Intelligence* that can not be served by the existing architecture. Is the existing architecture then flawed? I do not think so. Does the existing architecture fit the needs of the organisation? I do not think so. So flaw 1 in my opinion is not a flaw, it might simply be not a good fit between requirement and architecture.
Let's take this corny metaphor one step further. Suppose there is a genuine need for me to fly (e.g 100% up-to-date information for decision-like processes*). Is it then considered common sense to build wings on my car and put in a jet engine? I wouldn't ......I would just buy a plane ticket and get to an airfield or maybe I would use a substitute to achieve my objectives....the train.
To conclude; requirements are evolving and architecture needs to follow. The data warehouse architecture depicted as a hub-spoke model is still valid for it's intented use (although the design is evolving). New requirements can lead to new choices in architecture (and subsequently in design).
Although I do not agree on the flaw issue, I do agree that new requirements can require new architecture which - in the end - is exactly what Rick is proposing (although I do not agree completely on this new architecture - but lets keep that in mind for a next posting).
* as you can see I am eluding the tedious discussion regarding the term Operational Business Intelligence. I am also eluding the so-called 'fact' that organizations all need 100% up-to-date information for decision like processes.
Posted June 10, 2009 1:20 PM
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