Saturday, July 31, 2010

Simple and Straight forward approach towards an Business Intelligence Project

An broad level outlook on the approach towards an Business Intelligence or Reporting Project.
1. Requirements Identification
a. User Requirements
i. Target Audience – Who will be the users of the outcome of the project
ii. Identification charting requirements – Need to an understand charting or dashboard requirements of the customer in term of analytics required.
iii. Reporting Requirements – Level of drill down required or the data grains required.
iv. Parameterization - Type of Parameters required
b. Application Requirements
i. Existing database being used whether its single databases or multiple database.
ii. Look and feel the application

2. Decision on the tools and method to be used
a. Decide on the tools required based on the following factors.
i. Look and Feel required
ii. No. of Users and preferred licensing methodology
iii. Flexibility in development and Database support
b. Reliability and performance of the tool to be used
c. Also device and methodology in which the reports being generated
d. Also decide on the appropriate ETL tool to be used
e. Project Plan

3. Initial Prototyping
a. The prototyping on the application look and feel would help the user to give the feedback on the approach towards the BI result.
b. Also prepare the Example charts and Drill down reports to manage the conformance of the end users expectations easily.
c. Prepare the charts and reports with maximum variations possible.

4. Database modeling
a. Logical modeling to convert the application database data into Staging or reporting database; You can also use the logical modelling tools available for modelling, once the model is reviewed and approved by the necessary stakeholders physical model can be generated and published for use.
b. You can refer kimbhall’s dimensional modeling for building the warehouse
c. Identify the Facts and dimensions properly to suit the granular level of detailing required in the reporting project.

5. Report Design, Development and Testing
a. Use the right tools for developing the reports
b. Try to use the Database Native connectivity options for better performance.
c. Initial stage customer feedback would be a lot more helpful in following similar standards across all the reports.
d. Minute detailing such as Spelling Mistakes, Header, Footer, Page Nos, Special Symbols are some of the key things in the static reports.
e. Test the application for correctness of data, Input Parameters, comfortless in viewing and printing the reports if required
f. Test the application with huge amount of data.

6. Deployment and Usage
a. When the volume of reports is huge strive to maintain the version control system for the reports for change management and maintainability.
b. Once the reports are designed and tested deploy the same in the reporting application.

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