Executive Leadership and Data Warehousing - dummies

Executive Leadership and Data Warehousing

By Thomas C. Hammergren

Executive management doesn’t care one iota about data warehousing. They don’t. It’s that simple. They do care about the business value a successful data warehousing project delivers.

To be blunt, if your company had done a better job in the past of implementing and managing its information systems and applications, it wouldn’t need data warehousing projects, at least the way you’re probably doing them or are about to do them (such as copying massive amounts of — mostly — poor-quality data into another database, trying your best to clean up that data, or handling ridiculous situations such as product codes sorted alphabetically in one application and numerically in another).

Regardless of whether you create a single- or multiple-company integration, one thing is certain — if you can get the executives the timely information they need in an accurate form, the herds of analysts they employ can now focus on analyzing the data, rather than assembling it.

And, furthermore, the executives can begin connecting the strategy of the enterprise with key metrics by using the organizational layer. Each person up and down the food chain can have the four to six metrics that he or she focuses on — and possibly are compensated on. With this level of connectivity and focus, the company can much more easily deliver upon a strategy.

But you must take that first step — convince your executive sponsor or team that the enterprise from an intuition-based decision-making model to a fact-based one. In that simple statement, you go from the decisions being made “because my gut tells me that is the right decision” to “based on the trends we should be investing in . . . or change our direction.”

Which type of organization would you rather oversee? I’m sure you’re no different than many executives or shareholders: The proof is in the execution, and to execute a data warehouse, you need executive leadership.