Written Assignment: Research Paper – Planning & Implementing a Data Warehouse Project
Company OverviewABC Industries is a diversified global organization that provides a variety of services, including financial and technical, and manufactures its own numerous products. Its manufacturing base is spread across the globe. ABC’s production facilities are located in Europe, Asia, and the United States. Some of the company’s products are manufactured while others are assembled from procured components. The company, whose revenues are in excess of $35 billion, has 250,000 employees.The company’s stock has hit rock bottom as its earnings have been in a downward spiral for the past three years. The financial difficulties can be traced to a number of causes, including global competition, outdated products and services, an inefficient supply chain, an outdated infrastructure, inefficient processes, systems, and distribution, etc. The new CEO has made a serious effort to understand the root causes of the problems and find an appropriate solution. However, he has been unable to perform any meaningful analysis because the data required to perform such an analysis is either unavailable or not easily accessible. The company has a number of independent reporting systems that operate on different platforms, but they are outdated or unable to provide information that is timely, reliable, and accurate.The CEO has realized that he will not be able to make any progress unless he has access to a decision support system, based on a data warehouse, that will enable him to find the root causes of the problems and, consequently, help him make strategic decisions for saving the company. The CEO has assigned you, the Chief Information Officer (CIO), the strategic task of overseeing the data warehouse project. Your assignment is to develop a design plan for the data warehouse.
Paper RequirementsYou are required to turn in a comprehensive research paper describing your plans for the data warehouse project. The paper should contain the following sections:1. Project objectives:In this section, you are expected to list the high level objectives for the project. What is it that you are attempting to accomplish and what will be your objectives and goals?
2. Project planning and initiation:In this section, you will list the preliminary steps and activities to be carried out for starting the project. It should include your approaches to getting various functional groups and departments on board by obtaining their buy-in and to providing resources for the project.
3. Project plan with high level activities:In this section, you are expected to create a project plan that contains the important tasks, their duration, and proposed schedule.
4. Implementation approach and methodology:In this section, you will evaluate the various implementation options available to you such as phased or big bang approach, top-down or bottom-up, pilot implementation, etc.
5. Subjects selected and their implementation sequence:In this section, you will indicate the various subjects that you want to implement in the data warehouse. In a large organization such as the one being considered, there can be many subjects that can be implemented in the data warehouse such as sales, bookings, defects, billings, customers, etc. You will indicate which subjects you will select and the sequence in which they will be implemented.
6. How you plan to gather the business requirements for the data warehouse:In this section, you will indicate the various methods or techniques you plan to use for gathering requirements as well as the participants in this exercise.
7. Architecture and tools selected:In this section, you will lay out the proposed architecture to be implemented (such as a data warehouse feeding data marts or the opposite) and indicate the tools that you have selected (such as the front-end access tools). You should indicate which selection criteria will be used to select ETL and front-end access tools (such as cost, ease of use, etc.).
8. Justification for important decisions and selections:In this section, you will provide the justification and logic/reasoning for the most important decisions taken during this project. These concern the selection of the approach and methodology (top-down or bottom-up, phased implementation or big-bang), tools and database selection (OLAP/non-OLAP or relational/multi-dimensional database), etc.
9. Current IT infrastructure and impact due to the implementation:In this section, you will identify the existing infrastructure components that might be impacted by the implementation. These can include the overall architecture, network, reporting and other tools, hardware, software, etc., that might need to be replaced, discarded, or upgraded. You are not required to perform a technical evaluation. The intent is only to identify the components that you think might be impacted, rather than the magnitude of the impact and technical details.
10. Deployment (roll-out) approach:In this section, you will list the approach and details for rolling out the data warehouse, from the development to the production environment, to the ultimate users of the system.
11. Anticipated issues and problems:In this section, you will try to identify the potential issues that can be expected during the various project phases or areas (resources, planning, development, construction, infrastructure, components, etc.) and how you plan to address them. In particular, you should identify the potential sources of scope creep and your strategy for dealing with them.
The items in the above list need not be addressed in the sequence in which they have been listed. You can reorganize, move or merge sections in accordance with the structure of your paper. However, all 11 requirements must be addressed in the paper.
Paper FormatA data warehouse is a business project and you should keep that in mind as you go about planning the project. Do not get side-tracked by technical details and issues. In this paper, as in the real world, you can make any assumptions, but they should make business sense. Clearly indicate all major assumptions, especially if they affect decision-making, the implementation approach, or the selection of architecture and tools. The paper should include, as a minimum, the specifications and requirements listed in the requirements section above.Type the paper using a word processing program and the following guidelines:• Use 1.5” line spacing.• Use 12 point, Times New Roman font.• The body of the paper should be 10 to 12 pages in length.• Follow the APA writing style guidelines for term papers. Include a cover page, objectives, conclusion, references, bibliography, etc. as required for the writing style you selected. Be sure to properly cite any material you quote, paraphrase, or summarize from one of your sources.
Grading criteria – The paper will be graded based upon the following:• 20% – Meeting the basic requirements listed in the requirements section of the paper• 20% – Organization and presentation• 30% – Content • 30% – Overall quality
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