Most providers in the space know that designing a dimensional model for a data warehouse is really only the first of many steps. The devil is in the ETL details. This is really where our primary expertise lies. We are experts at finding the data needed, transforming it into usable information, and getting it loaded into your data warehouse for user consumption. We estimate that in a typical data warehousing implementation, 70-80% of the work is ETL. We are tool agnostic and can develop the ETL programs either using custom code or a tool you have licensed.
If you don’t understand what ETL is and why it is hard, you are not alone. It’s a lot like the construction of a new home. First you design the house by creating a conceptual drawing of what the house will look like when you are done. It’s clean and straightforward. It’s pretty, and it’s a very important step to building your dream house. This is what a dimensional data model design is for a data warehouse.
But when the design is done, the project isn’t finished! It’s more of a starting point than a result. Next you have to schedule the work, decide what will be done first, build the house in an intelligent manner, and deal with all of the little problems that come up along the way. In a data warehouse, that is the ETL development. It’s the cement, pipes, wood, nails, drywall, tile paint, appliances and all the associated labor to install them. It’s taking your design and bringing it to life in a way that will be meaningful for your users for years to come.