Comment

A Path, not simple tips, for Improving Data Quality

2017-01-16_12-59-03.jpg

There have been a number of reports recently on the topic of Data Quality. I'm not sure if it's the time of year, or perhaps that it's simply a perennial topic, but this article caught my eye.

Gartner is kind enough to throw out some large numbers, provide a some glittering generalities for *creating* a case for it, and encourage you to visit their website for more details... We're less about *tips* and more practical advice... and a proven path. Based on Gartner's data, I would anticipate that if you (or I) went into an average organization, informed them that they have a $9.7M financial impact from poor Data Quality, and announced that we had a solution guaranteed to fix it for $9.7M (i.e. 100% ROI in 1 year)... we would be escorted out of the building, and thrown to the curb.

So then, data quality isn't just simply about dollars. At Datawa,re, we think it's more of a lifestyle, and that lifestyle is supported by technology that reduces the friction in identifying data quality issues, and subsequently, resolving them.

Here's how we facilitate improved data quality within Datawa.re community.

We believe in Source, Business Logic and Data Model transparency. Many organization have a litany of SSIS packages, stored procedures, scripts, etc. sprinkled "here and there" throughout their environment, making it tough to identify exactly where a problem is, and impossibly frustrating and time consuming to diagnose, let alone, fix it. 

On the contrary, Datawa.re's architecture is 100% table-driven. This means that the SQL pulling data from source systems, business logic transforming data, exception logic identifying issues, data definitions, etc. are all stored and cataloged together in a collection of tables, managed by our app, in your SQL Server environment. Further, Datawa.re's audit logs provide atomic-level detail and system messages as to the status of every element of your ETL process.  As a result, reports can document data lineage from the moment it enters the ETL process, throughout every transformation, and into the data mart. So, identifying where the problem happens is literally turn-key.

Once the problem has been found, how easy is it to fix and test? This is where Datawa.re again differentiates itself. Because it has a table-driven architecture, you can make changes in the Datawa.re app with the confidence, knowing that it won't impact other things in the ETL process. And, because these changes can be immediately implemented and run discretely, you can apply updates immediately... or, roll-them back without issue.

While you've likely never heard of our organization, you'll be familiar with companies we've built data solutions for, including Yahoo!, Viacom, Time Inc., Keihin, Sallie Mae, etc. 

Visit our customer engagement page (www.datawa.re/customers), and see how we help organizations like yours accelerate and streamline SQL Server data warehousing and processing initiatives, and dramatically improve their data quality and their level of confidence, and ability to respond, to changing business needs.

Comment

Comment

Faster is Better: Accelerate your Data Roadmap.

Datawa.re delivers a significant shift in approach and philosophy to data warehousing and data processing based on Microsoft SQL Server. Let the Datawa.re Team show you a better way to deliver more business value, in less time.

Removding the RISK from your next data warehousing or data processing initiative, or RESCUING the data initiative that is concerning you is where Datawa.re can add immediate value to your team. Our flexible, table-driven data architecture and development methodology mitigates the time and cost risks that frequently plague warehousing projects. Further, Datawa.re provides a dynamic foundation that enables your team to support, extend and scale a compelling, production-ready data solution.

See how we can Accelerate your Data Roadmap: http://www.datawa.re/customers

Comment

Comment

5 Symptoms of Forthcoming BI Drama

In the day-to-day throws of a data warehousing initiative, it’s sometime difficult to identify the larger, farther-reaching issues that may not sink your project immediately, but may have costly consequences down the road. 

Many times, the goal it to simply *get it finished,* but like many things, finishing strong pays dividends for a long, long time.  Here then, are a quick list of issue that we regularly see that need to be addressed sooner than later.

  1. Convoluted ETL Process If you find that your ETL process is “somewhat complexed,” I have a simple question:  Where is it going from here?  I’ve sat in too many meeting in which a technical resource walks a room-full of team members and business-types through the finer points of the ETL process that seems remarkably complicated, perhaps unnecessarily.  Understandably, ETL is inherently involved, but an inability to succinctly explain and clearly show (read: demonstrate) the process is only going to create a situation in the near future once the resource has left, or been re-assigned, that is going to make revisions or updates problematic.
     
  2. Limited Responsiveness – Building on item #1, the amount of time required to find, make, test and implement changes to a data initiative may be significant, and as a result, the responsiveness that you discover from the group supporting your project is less than ideal.  What we see most frequently is that teams that aren’t able to quickly respond to the needs of the business are trying to support, in many cases, the unsupportable.  A "brittle" data warehouse, for example, works just as designed, but making changes to it requires a significant time investment to either figure-out… or more commonly… re-write the process.  And, the result is that you’re going to have to live with a high-maintenance, high-touch data solution that is effectively inflexible.  And, that’s a real problem.
     
  3. Resource Dependence – If your data initiative has a specific resource primarily because he/she is the only resources that know how it works… you’re going to have a problem, and you’re going to be held hostage at the most inconvenient time possible.  This is a problem for a lot of reasons, not least of which, because any changes (updates, enhancements, additions, etc.) are only going to serve to demonstrate continued dependence on a single point failure.  At some point, you’re going to have to pay that resource an ever-increasing amount, or they’re simply going to leave at a time not of your choosing.
     
  4. Project Delays – Delays in the course of a project are far too common, and provide glimpse of what you can expect going forward.  Occasionally, project delays come from the classic “eyes bigger than their stomachs” syndrome as it relates to defining dates and deliverables. However, I would submit, it’s frequently because that time is being invested in the wrong things.  Rather than focusing 100% of the effort on specific business deliverables, it’s regularly invested in solving problems and building-out infrastructure that could be acquired at a fraction of the cost.
     
  5. Poor Performance – Subpar performance comes in a lot of forms, but it regularly stems from the same source: a general lack of acknowledgement of the scope/scale of the required data, and the necessary architecture to fully support it.  Poor performance has probably undermined more data solutions than anything else, as it’s not a binary scale… and regularly gets explained away.

Take the RISK out of your next SQL Server data initiative, or RESCUE the one you're worried about.  Give our team a call at 317.313.5200, and see how the Datawa.re table-driven, data warehousing framework can accelerate your project by:

  • Using Better Technology – A better technology architecture means a better data solution. The Datawa.re architecture is unmatched for building the best foundation for your data strategy built on Microsoft® technology.
     
  • Being More Responsive and Agile – Moving at the speed of business isn't easy without the right tools.  Datawa.re makes responding to changing business needs easy when new opportunities arise.
     
  • Making it Easy to Live With – No new tools to install, no new tools to learn. Based on Microsoft SQL Server®, the Datawa.re approach and platforms fit nicely into your organization's existing IT strategy.

Visit www.datawa.re

Comment

Comment

It's about Time: Reflections on 2016...

Like you, I had a great holiday break with my family and friends, and spent some of the downtime thinking about 2016... and what is the essence of what we're doing at Datawa.re. 

Throughout 2016, we have received tons of feedback on the product... some good, some bad.  We've worked to add to the good, and fix (or nix) the bad.  When you're in the daily grind, it's difficult to fully grasp the all of the implications in a sprint to meet deadline, deliverable, and development expectations.  And, that's why the holiday break serves is a nice way to provide some distance and clarity, and to take personal and professional inventory.

Here then, based on feedback from 2016, is what I've concluded what we do, in no particular order. I'll be interested in your comments and thoughts...

Here are the top 5 ways Datawa.re sells "Time" and "Certainty" back to each and every one of our clients.

  • Faster, More Effective Prototyping - Getting started in the right direction is sometimes the most time consuming part, especially on initiatives that have an impossibly short timeline.  Further, slapping something together for a proof-of-concept that just has to be re-built once it's "accepted" adds to the drama.  Datawa.re provides the guardrails and infrastructure to assure that forays into a new idea doesn't get tripped-up on the starting blocks.  This is a huge time savings for large-organization IT teams.
     
  • Client-focused Deliverables - Shifting the emphasis of deliverables from required/standard infrastructure (i.e. Audit logging, Differentials, Key Management, etc.) has enabled clients and consulting partners to focus exclusively on business outcomes... delivering more results throughout the course of a project... and reducing the risk of project time/cost overruns.   For small and medium businesses, this is a key.
     
  • Efficient Day-to-Day Support - Data warehouse support teams using Datawa.re are more responsive to changing business needs.  Managing data sources, business logic/rules/exceptions and the data model in a single, meta-data repository, rather than hundreds of SSIS packages, significantly increases the speed that changes (large and small) can be made, and reduces the risk dramatically.  Response-time is the number one driver for business teams looking beyond internal IT organizations for solutions.
     
  • Mid-level Developer Certainty - Development teams with young, enthusiastic developers are leveraging Datawa.re's built-in guardrails that provide three areas of focus (sourcing data, creating rules, building a data model), consistency of a native-SQL Server environment, and the assurance that the final deliverable is supportable, extensible and scalable. 
     
  • High-level Architect Productivity - Development teams with senior, experienced developers and architects are relying on Datawa.re's built-in infrastructure to enable teams to comfortably focus on difficult-to-solve data and business logic issues, rather than investing the time in (re)building capabilities that experienced developers and architects have come to expect.

And, I'll add one more that is more anecdotal...

  • Build or Buy Decision Making Efficiency - The "cloud" version of Datawa.re is almost free to try... when considering a "build or buy" decision.  Here’s why: We have alot of prospective clients that are testing the waters, and want to see what the possibilities are initially, and then over a 3- or 6-month period.  Our team will gladly assemble a prototype that the prospective client can take and run with it.  The possibility of being able to have a working data warehouse up-and-running in a couple of weeks, and then “trying” (read: using) the actual solution over a 3-6 month period for only a few thousand dollars is unheard of.  Starting from scratch on the same project would required 10X+ investment.

I hope you continue to find success as we start 2017, and look forward to hearing about your wins and opportunities to improve.

Comment

Visibility and Accessibility to Business Logic by Subject Matter Experts is a Critical part of Delivering a Relevant and Meaningful Data Solution.

Comment

Visibility and Accessibility to Business Logic by Subject Matter Experts is a Critical part of Delivering a Relevant and Meaningful Data Solution.

Truth #3: Business Expertise

Visibility and Accessibility to Business Logic by Subject Matter Experts is a Critical part of Delivering a Relevant and Meaningful Data Solution.

We believe that data initiatives are most successful when a proven methodology, technology platform and business expertise are combined in an iterative process to deliver business solutions.

Frequently, business rules and logic to transform and cleanse data is inaccessible to most subject matter experts.  This is due to the nature of SSIS and a recurring, package-rich, architecture philosophy that is common to most data processing and warehouse solutions.  This impacts responsiveness and creates bottle necks for both making and testing updates.  The predictable result is a reluctance to make changes combine with long turn-around times for implementing changes. 

Datawa.re eliminates this challenge by managing business rule and logic in a web-based interface that enables immediate visibility and access to subject matter experts.  These SMEs have the ability to manage rules and logic and the confidence to implement changes without impacting any other element of the data process.

Comment

A Proper Technology Direction Will Set a Course for the Outcome of Your Data Initiative.

Comment

A Proper Technology Direction Will Set a Course for the Outcome of Your Data Initiative.

High Resolution Gear Layer 1 High Resolution Gear Layer 1 High Resolution Gear Layer 1 High Resolution Gear Layer 1 High Resolution Gear Layer 1 High Resolution Gear Layer 1 High Resolution Gear Layer 1 High Resolution Gear Layer 1 High Resolution Gear Layer 1 High Resolution Gear Layer 1

Truth #2: Technology Platforms

A Proper Technology Direction Will Set a Course for the Outcome of Your Data Initiative.

We believe that data initiatives are most successful when a proven methodology, technology platform and business expertise are combined in an iterative process to deliver business solutions.

The foundation and architecture for a data processing or warehouse solution can single-handedly define both the immediate impact and long-term success by business users.  The challenge is that the outcome is clear only in retrospect.

The Datawa.re table-driven, comprehensive architecture delivers a unique opportunity to quickly deliver solutions by working only on the elements that are unique to the business, and leaving the rest to be handled by a proven, industry-standard approach.  By focusing on just business data, rules and logic, data initiatives can be dramatically accelerated allowing teams to deliver considerably more value in the allotted time.

Comment

Speed and Content (Data + Logic) are Most Important to the Business, not Construction.

Comment

Speed and Content (Data + Logic) are Most Important to the Business, not Construction.

High Resolution Gear Layer 1 High Resolution Gear Layer 1 High Resolution Gear Layer 1

Truth #1: Proven Methodology

Speed and Content (Data + Logic) are Most Important to the Business, not Construction.

We believe that data initiatives are most successful when a proven methodology, technology platform and business expertise are combined in an iterative process to deliver business solutions.

Our methodology challenges the traditional BI mindset that come from years of building data warehouses by starting from effectively scratch. Yet when teams struggle with incremental data loads, Type I/II dimensions, and a need for more time to manage changes, every developer wishes for an alternative to re-creating X capability.

Conversely, the business has little concern for the many things required for a stable, extensible, and scalable warehouse. Yet, the expectation is that the final product will be robust and meet the changing needs of the business.

The Datawa.re methodology focuses on Business Content (Data + Logic) over Construction by delivering a turn-key, metadata-driven platform for creating a flexible, scalable and supportable data solution that can be delivered in days, not months.

Comment

Your Content. Our Platform. Corporate data initiatives solved in only days.

Comment

Your Content. Our Platform. Corporate data initiatives solved in only days.

Your Content. Our Platform. Corporate data initiatives solved in only days.

When your Content (Business Data & Rules) meets our Platform, you get quick results and immediate business value.  

Datawa.re delivers a solution for the fastest, most productive data experience to your developers, subject matter experts, and business users with a pragmatic development methodology and a flexible, extensible and scalable data architecture.  

We represent a new generation of "no code" data warehouse platforms, with one simple exception:  Datawa.re delivers a solution with the flexibility to manage business content in the cloud, while all the source data and actionable results reside in your secure, local environment.

Datawa.re is an innovative data processing and warehousing solution built on the Microsoft Azure® cloud and Microsoft SQL Server® technology platforms that will transform the way your and your team think about the time, cost and possibilities of your organization's data.

Comment

Anatomy of a Data Warehouse Project

Comment

Anatomy of a Data Warehouse Project

Anatomy of a Data Warehouse Project

My wife enjoys the TV drama Grey’s Anatomy, and admittedly, I’ve gotten sucked in. However, there is a reoccurring theme with this, and I suppose all, TV dramas of the medical variety. It goes something like this:

Normal Day → Massive Calamity → Dramatic Rescue → Normal Day

If it’s Grey’s Anatomy, throw in a few romantic conflicts, and you’ve got yourself a show.  The formula works because everyone loves a drama, as long as it’s not happening to them.

But what if it is? Unfortunately, high drama happens frequently in data warehousing projects because there is a lot at stake: Time, Money, Reputations, Business Impact.  The list is endless.

As you know, our message at Datawa.re is simple: Focus on Content, rather than Construction.  Both are important, but Content is where the business value is at.  That said, we’ve discovered a fascinating (and recurring) scenario that we have characterize as a "Massive Calamity."

The Massive Calamity

Just short of a cars going over bridges or killers lurking around the hospital, here are some of the common symptoms:

  1. The active data warehouse project is being built by an external BI team.
  2. The project started a *long* time ago (whatever *long* means to you)
  3. The agreed-to deliverables seem more distant than ever, and weekly meetings are growing tense
  4. Conversations about the deliverables have become increasingly nuanced and complex
  5. Delivery dates are being missed, and the project is due to be competed in 90 days

Essentially, these symptoms describe a situation in which the project owner has lost faith in the direction of the team and/or the ability of the team to successfully (read: acceptably) complete the project. Driving all of this are missed deadlines and a looming due date… and the project or business owner is looking for answers.

This is an unfortunate, yet predictable, outcome because traditional warehouse projects that require opposing priorities vying for attention, and something must *give*.  If the infrastructure is compromised, then the project is not going to be supportable.  If the business data is compromised, then there's going to be revolt by the business users.  Compounding this are frequent realizations that drive business requirement changes.  It's, admittedly, a tough balancing act... and it's can be challenging to get right. 

The Dramatic Rescue

The most common dramatic rescue is the classic "double-down".  Throw in more resources, more time, more money... more prayers.  But even the most dramatic rescues have their limits… and the next project will suffer the same fate if you don't understand the how to change the plot line of the story.

Changing the plot line starts with changing the opening scene.  If you start with a solid data management platform, you can reinvest the time normally spent building-out necessary infrastructure, and instead invest in understanding the data, better implementing business logic, and thinking beyond the documented requirements to provide a more compelling data solution.

Getting back to the Normal Day

If you find yourself in the midst of a Massive Calamity, Datawa.re can help in delivering the Dramatic Rescue if you have certainty about two things:

  1. You understand and have your source data
  2. You understand and have the needed business logic

While these two items seem basic, they are the foundation for more warehouse failures than anything else.  If you don't have a handle on both, the prognosis for the patient is, well, concerning.  However, if you have a understand both items, Datawa.re can dramatically change your project trajectory.  Because we table-drive our framework, leverage 60+ proven stored procedures, and utilize a single SSIS package for flow control.  Your source data queries can be inserted almost immediately, and your business logic can quickly be added, and you'll find you're back on track with your project in less time than you'd expect.

 

Give us the opportunity to show you how it can rescue your project and shift your team's focus to Business Content instead of Construction. Visit datawa.re or contact a member of the Datawa.re team at 1.844.313.5200 or getstarted@datawa.re.

Comment

How Do You Make Your Data More Valuable?

Comment

How Do You Make Your Data More Valuable?

 

How do you Make Your Data More Valuable?

Make it More Available in Hours or Days, not Months.

Historically, the challenge with data warehousing is the associated Time and Quality required to stand-up a robust, fully-integrated data warehouse.

Fast has always meant “low-quality”… and Right has always meant “expensive.”

With Datawa.re, your team can deploy one or more scalable, extensible, and supportable data warehouse environments in the cloud or on-premise in less time, and at a lower cost than ever before.

Let’s Get Started.  Contact us at 1.844.313.5200 or getstarted@datawa.re to find out how.  Visit Datawa.re

Comment

Data Warehousing Realization #4

Comment

Data Warehousing Realization #4

Data Warehousing Realization #4

The team at Datawa.re has completed data warehouse initiatives for some of the most recognized brands in the US. In that time, we've made a number of observations that have gone on to serve as the foundation for the Datawa.re Data Management Platform for Microsoft SQL Server. Here's one final thought.

Realization #4: 
Only Content has Business Value.
Despite what we’d all like to think about our own self-importance, no one really cares about what we do (or what you do) unless it adds value to what they do.

Case in point: The Construction phase when building a new home. While you’re concerned about the framing, plumbing and electrical, you’re only interested in so far that it impacts the progress of the construction, and ultimately, your move-in date. You don’t really care that studs are 16 inches on center. You don’t really care if your drains are 1.5 inches or 2 inches or even 4 inches. You don’t really care about the efficiency by which wire was pulled through the walls. Granted, you’re glad someone cares, and you’re paying your general contractor to care and oversee the construction… but you presume that it’s being done to "code", and it’s right… but, you’re not *excited* about it.

What you are *excited* about is hitting the move-in date, making sure the master bedroom/bath is how you want it, making sure the kitchen, cabinets, appliances, and fixtures are right, making sure the bedrooms, stairways, family room and garage is the way you planned. Understandably, you’re excited about the things that specifically relate to you and your family (Content) and less about the physical infrastructure (Construction) of the house.

The same is true for data warehousing, and we literally see it every day. The Business will have requirements, and the Technical team will go on to tell them many, many things that they have no concern about, because they assume (like the home example above), that it’s being done to “code” and it’s being done right… but they’re not *excited* about it.

So, what does this mean?

It means that a huge percentage of your data warehouse project is of no meaningful consequence to your paying customer. Let that sink in. Sure, they want it to be built correctly and support the requested capabilities… but until it’s delivering *value* to them, they frankly (and maybe rightly), don’t care.

What they do care about is Content.

They care about their data sources and how to get that data, and how frequently it will be loaded… and how an incremental load will work… and how long that load will take… and how the data will be cleansed… and how derived fields will be created… and how business rules will be applied (and in what order)… and if something goes wrong, how will they know… and if they want to add a few more fields or a new data source how will that all work… and how it can be supported over time… and when they can start reporting against it… and, on and on. They care about things that impact them.

Anything that enables you to accelerate the Construction-phase of the project, and re-invest that time in the Content-phase of the project is going to be a huge win (from the client’s perspective)… and reduce the risk associated with the project. It’s still work for you, but it’s a high-value investment of time in the project that yields direct results to the customer.

Enter Datawa.re. Datawa.re is a dynamic data management platform that not only invites change, but accelerates it by shifting the focus of the technology team from Construction to Content. Enabling BI teams to quickly add or expand data sources, quickly change business rules, and/or immediately create derived fields in a flexible, table-driven SQL environment (all the while having the ability to audit and track data back to the source and nearly eliminate regression testing), results in technology teams and business teams aligning their collective efforts to deliver a more robust and impactful BI solution.

Give us the opportunity to show you how it can accelerate your next project and shift your team's focus to Business Content instead of Construction. Visit datawa.re or contact a member of the Datawa.re team at 1.844.313.5200 or getstarted@datawa.re.

Comment

Data Warehousing Realization #3

Comment

Data Warehousing Realization #3

Data Warehousing Realization #3

The team at Datawa.re has designed and delivered a variety of data warehouses for many nationally recognized organizations over the past 15+ years. In that time, we've had a number of realizations that served as the foundation for the Datawa.re Data Management Platform for Microsoft SQL Server. Here's the third of four.

Realization #3: 
The Outcome of a Data Warehouse implementation is defined by
Team Experience.

Like most things in business (and life), people are most confident where they are most comfortable. The old saying about "If you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail" has never been more true than on a data warehousing initiative. If you've been around-the-block, you know that success of your project will, in large part, be determined by the warehousing experience you have on your BI team.

 If you have a dedicated staff, you probably know what you have... and where the relative strengths and weaknesses lie. If you're augmenting your team with outside resources, it becomes more of a guessing game. Regardless, you're going to want to produce the best-possible product, and determining how to do that typically involves a finite number of options, assuming your resources are fixed.

  • More Time. As your grandmother told you "Haste makes waste", so giving your team more time to focus on the difficult problems, rather than all the thrashing that comes with changing requirements, can dramatically improve outcomes.
  • More Direction. Frequently, the path taken is taken based on personalities on the team, and not necessarily on merit. By providing your team with a proven direction, many course-corrections and compromises can be avoided.
  • More Capability. Enhancing your team's collective capability, and enabling them to produce something they (likely) couldn't produce otherwise will positively impact the project.

All that said, many team leaders may think the answer lies in longer project times, "big X" consulting organizations, additional training/certifications, and the like. Granted, there's nothing wrong them, but the Datawa.re team takes a contrary view. We want to enhance your team's time, direction and capability by utilizing an innovative data warehousing platform that is the result of 15+ years of warehousing experience, building with a toolset they already understand, focusing on a proven, industry-recognized approach, and leveraging a core-capability that no project team would ever have the time (or resources) to create while under the constraints of a project.

Enter Datawa.re.  Datawa.re is a dynamic data management platform that not only invites change, but accelerates it by shifting the focus of the technology team from Construction to Content. Enabling BI teams to quickly add or expand data sources, quickly change business rules, and/or immediately create derived fields in a flexible, table-driven SQL environment (all the while having the ability to audit and track data back to the source and nearly eliminate regression testing), results in technology teams and business teams aligning their collective efforts to deliver a more robust and impactful BI solution.

Give us the opportunity to show you how it can accelerate your next project and shift your team's focus to Business Content instead of Construction.  Choose a convenient time at calendly.com/jleonard or visit datawa.re. Or, contact me directly at 1.844.313.5200 or jleonard@datawa.re.

Comment

Data Warehousing Realization #2

Comment

Data Warehousing Realization #2

Data Warehousing Realization #2

Over the years, our team has developed and deployed no shortage of data warehouse solutions for forward-thinking organizations around the country.  In that time, we've had a several realizations that led us to develop the Datawa.reData Management Platform for Microsoft SQL Server.

Here's the second of four.

Realization #2: 
Most ground-up Data Warehouse Projects involve “Reinventing the Wheel”.

If you’ve been involved with a few data warehousing projects in your career, you'll immediately acknowledge that: 1) Business requirements are always changing, and 2) The current data warehouse project, technically, seems a lot like the last data warehouse project you worked-on.  Between these two items, you’re re-doing a lot of re-work.

First, the business is going to discover new things along the way, and conclude that what they originally told you they needed now differs from what they actually need.  Some, but not all, of this re-work is just a natural part of the process.

Second, the infrastructure that is required for your project to be a properly supported data warehouse, and not just a collection of data elements, requires you to create things like common business rules, differential data loads, auditing capabilities, notifications, and 50 other things… that are probably very similar to what you did on your last project.  Again, while there might be some incremental improvement, it’s still re-work.

In the end, all this re-work takes a lot of your time, and is generally unproductive.  The problem is that you have a fixed amount of time and resources, and if we’re honest, the business is somewhat unsympathetic to the level of effort required to produce a robust data infrastructure (that you know they need).

As a result, a large percentage of your project focuses on “Construction”, rather than “Content”.  And while the Construction is important, building (and re-building) it offers limited, direct value to the Business… as compared to Content (Read: Business Data) which represents nearly 100% of the value.

Many IT leaders (and business leaders for that matter) accept that it’s an unavoidable nuisance of the development process, and implement different project methodologies in an attempt to combat it.   But, the Datawa.re team takes a contrary view.  Constant re-work doesn’t have to be the “norm,” and your project methodology isn’t going to have a meaningful effect on the total amount of work required to achieve a specific outcome. 

Enter Datawa.re.  Datawa.re is a dynamic data management platform that not only invites change, but accelerates it by shifting the focus of the technology team from Construction to Content.  Enabling BI teams to quickly add or expand data sources, quickly change business rules, and/or immediately create derived fields in a flexible, table-driven SQL environment (all the while having the ability to audit and track data back to the source and nearly eliminate regression testing), results in technology teams and business teams aligning their collective efforts to deliver a more robust and impactful BI solution.

Give us the opportunity to show you how it can accelerate your next project and shift your team's focus to Business Content instead of Construction.  Choose a convenient time at calendly.com/jleonard or visit datawa.re. Or, contact me directly at 1.844.313.5200 or jleonard@datawa.re.

Comment

Data Warehousing Realization #1

Comment

Data Warehousing Realization #1

Dataware_Nov24.jpg

Data Warehousing Realization #1

The team at Datawa.re has implemented a broad array of data initiatives from some of the most recognized brands in the country.  In that time, we've had a few realizations that led us to develop the Datawa.re Data Management Platform for Microsoft SQL Server.  Here's the first of four.

Realization #1:
Clients don’t know what they don’t know.  And, data discoveries constantly drive new requirements.

Despite best efforts at gathering business requirements, data warehousing is an iterative process (or perhaps it should be)... because it's a process in data possibility discovery.  The business always understands the data, but rarely appreciates how it can be fully utilized... and as a result will have revelations throughout the process.  This is a good thing.  

As the BI team reveals more (or new) data possibilities, it becomes more apparent the original business requirements were not so much wrong, as not fully formed, and need to be modified.  And, that begins the on-going process of changing requirements.

Instinctively, this is something that is often fought by technology groups.  But, the Datawa.re team takes a contrary view.  What fuels improved business decisions and insight should be embraced... But, the BI team is going to need a methodology and supporting toolset that also embraces this same philosophy.

Enter Datawa.re.  Datawa.re is a dynamic data management platform that not only invites change, but accelerates it by shifting the focus of the technology team from Construction to Content.  Enabling BI teams to quickly add or expand data sources, quickly change business rules, and/or immediately create derived fields in a flexible, table-driven SQL environment (all the while having the ability to audit and track data back to the source and nearly eliminate  regression testing),  results in technology teams and business teams aligning their collective efforts to deliver a more robust and impactful BI solution.

Give us the opportunity to show you how it can accelerate your next project and shift your team's focus to Business Content instead of Construction.  Choose a convenient time at calendly.com/jleonard or visit datawa.re. Or, contact me directly at 1.844.313.5200 or jleonard@datawa.re.

Comment

Comment

A data warehouse perspective you may not have considered...

Dataware_Nov20.jpg

 

After 25+ different data warehousing projects for leading organization around the country, we concluded that there are really only two parts to any data project: 1) Construction and 2) Content. 

To cut to the chase, no one cares about the Construction without the Content. 

Let that soak in for a minute.

Seventy or eighty percent of a ground-up data warehouse project (read: Construction) involves building-out core capabilities, including full/ incremental data loads, staging, processes, validation, packages, auditing, notifications, and one hundred other items. 

Twenty to thirty percent of the data project involves Content, including integrating business data, defining business rules, creating derived fields, and more…. And this part of the project represents 100% of the value to the client. 

Which got us thinking… Why do we continue to spend so much time building and rebuilding capability (read: reinventing the wheel) that isn't immediately valued by the customer. 

Instead, is there a way to focus the bulk of our time on Content, rather than the Construction? (See if you can see the difference between a Ground-up and a Datawa.re warehouse project using an Agile methodology in the image above.)

Enter Datawa.re.  We created Datawa.re, a data automation management platform, to dramatically accelerate the Construction phase of any data initiative and enable you to exclusively focus your effort on the most highly-valued area, Business Content.  And, in the process, deliver a better solution in less time.

Give us the opportunity to show you how it can accelerate your next project and shift your focus to Business Content.  Choose a convenient time at calendly.com/jleonard or visit datawa.re. Or, contact me directly at 1.844.313.5200 or jleonard@datawa.re.

Comment

Comment

Conventional Wisdom Tells You...

Dataware_Dec8.png

 

...the best time to start on a data initiative was last May.

However, we will tell you that if you clearly understand your data sources, business rules, and most of the reports, we could probably show you something later this afternoon.

No seriously.

Much of the time in a data warehouse initiative is burnt-up building and rebuilding data infrastructure to cover the *blocking and tackling* of managing data sources, moving data from here to there, building auditing, applying rules, regression testing, optimizing... the list goes on and on.

Datawa.re streamlines and accelerates the iterative development process by providing a fast, flexible, and integrated platform so that you can focus on the very highest valuable deliverable: Actionable information in the hands of your customers in the shortest possible time.

Don't believe me?

Give us the opportunity to show you how it works. Choose a convenient time at calendly.com/jleonard or vist datawa.re. Or, contact me directly at 1.844.313.5200 or jleonard@datawa.re.

Comment

Comment

Let's Get Started.

When you qualify, the Datawa.re team work with you to collect your organization's source data, business reporting requirements, and business rules/logic to build-out an integrated data warehouse in the Datawa.re cloud environment in almost no time.

When ready, we'll point your reporting environment at the Datawa.re instance, and begin finalizing the reports and other analytics with your team.

Once the data is validated, we'll walk you through the entire solution, and show you the possibilities for keeping it in the cloud or moving it on-premise.

Contact us today to get started.

http://bit.ly/1M75mOx

Comment

Comment

The Data equivalent of Groundhog Day

Years ago, I was standing at the entrance of a large media company in New York with several guys on the team, hoping we had something meaningful to tell our prospective client about managing, distributing and acting on their data.  After the hand-shakes and introductions were over, we immediately discovered that they were working with their data in the most difficult, time-consuming way possible... literally.  They were spending hours, if not days, simply extracting, lightly massaging and publishing reports to key management. 

It was eye-opening.  But, those days are over... Or so I thought...

Fast forward to 2015.  We continue to be amazed at the difficulty organizations willingly accept to work with data...  but it's understandable as the challenges have moved up-stream and the volume, complexity and breadth of the data has dramatically expanded. 

It's data equivalent of Groundhog Day.

Today, large development teams will regularly invest thousands and thousands of resource hours churning-out tons of code trying (and retrying) to deliver a solution for managing, distributing and acting on corporate information.  Only to discover changes are needed, and compromises must be made.  

In many ways, it's an unfair challenge because the process of building a data warehouse is very much a journey of discovery that no business requirement fully documents at the outset.  And as a result, the bulk of the time invested in a new data initiative is going to be largely unproductive because the learning curve is steep... and ever changing.  Don't believe me?  As yourself (or your project lead) how long it would take to completely rebuild a past data warehouse if they knew then what they know now.  I'd bet the answer is 30%-50% of the time.

So, how can you increase productivity and accelerate deliverables? The answer is don't start from complete scratch.  Invest your time in understanding the inbound data, understanding the business rules, and understanding the how the data is used... effectively, what is distinct and important about your specific business... and leave the warehousing infrastructure to Datawa.re.  Our platform, built on Microsoft SQL Server, enables your team to create a warehouse in hours or days, not months or years, in a table-driven environment that will produce immediate results... and allow you to easily add, update, and/or modify your warehouse on-the-fly without the costs or implications of traditional development processes.

It's literally that simple. If you'd like me to show you, I can be reached at 1.844.313.5200 or jleonard@datawa.re... and in 20 minutes, you may suddenly have a new strategy for your current, or next, data warehousing project.  Visit us at Datawa.re.

Comment

Comment

Sometimes you have to ask yourself why...

... and sometimes, others do it for you.

This past week, I was talking to several customers, and one of the guys *piped-up* from the back of the room and asked "why?"  Hmm... Good question, I said.  We had been talking about what my team does, and what Datawa.re does, and how we do it, and who we do it for... and on and on.

What I had neglected to mention in all of that was the "why".  It seems like a silly question, but my immediate response to him wasn't has crisp as I would have liked... and I ended up giving this person a 6-minute answer to a 6-second question.  

Upon reflecting, I concluded that perhaps the "why" was the most important part of what we do... We clearly know the "what",  and we know the "how", and we know the "who" and we know the "where"... But, why?  So, I sat down and wrote down what I said in my (somewhat rambling) 6 minute answer. 

When I got done taking out everything unnecessary that was said, this is what I ended up with...

Datawa.re believes that the success of the IT organization is dependent upon leading, responding to and supporting the Business.  And for us, that begins with data... specifically, data warehousing and data automation.
Lead - The Business always solves problems with the tools available to them... often, at significant direct and indirect costs.  Datawa.re delivers a methodology and platform empowering your solution to be expandable and extensible, anticipating future needs and embracing new opportunities. 
Respond - The Business environment is dynamic, and change is required to continue to remain relevant and valuable. Datawa.re delivers an agile approach and technology framework that enables you to more quickly react to the on-going demands of the marketplace.
Support - Each system must be maintained, near-term and long-term, to fully leverage the Business investment. Datawa.re delivers a philosophy and framework that assures consistency and continuity for technical teams as resources transition from design to development to production.

 

Comment