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Data Warehouse Architecture 

Need to define data warehouse architecture for an information management project and want an overview of key architectural components?


The objective of the architecture and design phase is to create a technicalData Warehouse Architecture blueprint in sufficient detail for the development team to commence building the information management solution.

This phase will define the technical architecture including:
  • Data warehouse and business intelligence architecture;
  • Database architecture, system architecture and infrastructure;
  • Database sizing and performance;
  • Mechanisms to extract, transform and load data; and
  • Data backup/recovery processes.

This phase should not start without an:
  • Approved business case; and
  • Approved requirements specification

This phase requires a team of highly specialized data architects, data movement designers and business intelligence designers who will:
  • Review hardware architecture including capacity planning;
  • Analyze data storage structures including, staging area design, operational data stores (ODS), data warehouse design, and data mart design;
  • Recommend data security processes including all backup and recovery procedures;
  • Consider what is required to satisfy data quality requirements including any specialized processes to cleanse data and report data quality issues; and
  • Design data usage, reporting and analytical mechanisms including any business intelligence tool design specifications
How long should this take?

This is dependent upon the complexity of the requirements, the number of source systems and interfaces, and how much the architecture and design team has been involved in requirements specifications.

Information management best practices recommend that the data architect and data analyst play a key role in specifying requirements. This will reduce the time required to complete design tasks.

Data warehouse architecture phase is a highly focused effort that should be completed by an experienced team in a four to six week period.


This phase delivers a technical architecture document, which includes:
  • Relational database design and data model including;
  • Data movement design including:
    • Interface design;
    • Data integration specifications;
    • Physical data mapping, source to target map, including business rules to be applied to extracted data;
    • Design specifications;
    • Mechanisms for data transfer and load; and
    • Data load strategy. 
  • Data security design, including:
    • Backup/recovery specifications.
  • Data quality design specifications;
  • Query profiles, including 
    • Design specifications for pre-built reports or queries
  • Data conversion solutions
Standards and best practices 
  • Data model standards;
  • Data base management standards;
  • Data movement best practices;
  • Architecture document template;
  • Templates for:
    • Interface specification;
    • Data integration specification;
    • Data quality specification;
    • Load manager and warehouse manager specification;
    • Operations/infrastructure specifications;
    • Business intelligence reporting specification; and
    • Metadata design specification.

Data warehouse design and development requires database development software.


The objective of the data warehouse architecture phase is to create a technical blueprint in sufficient detail for the development team to commence building the information management solution.

A highly specialized team of experienced data architects, data movement designers and business intelligence designers should complete this phase in a four to six week period.

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