What is data warehousing?
A datawarehouse typically is repository of all the historical data of a company. For a retail company like WalMart, the datawarehouse has all the sales and customer preference data. This historical data can be effectively used to forecast/predict their sales, and using business intelligence techniques they can also be used to increase their sales. Let me give you an example of how it is used. When the September 11 2000, Twin Tower crash took place in US, WalMart was able to predict within 5 hours the items which are going to having increased sales in coming days. During events of national tragedy sales of US flags increase so Walmart bought all the flags available in market to sell in the next few days.
How good a field is datawarehousing? Which companies have these projects?
Data warehousing is one of the hottest fields in the IT industry, may be because it is difficult to find experienced people in this field and almost every big company has some kind of data warehousing system or is planning to upgrade it, which means lot of projects for Software Services companies. All services companies like IBM, Accenture, Capgemini, EDS, Covansys, Wipro and TCS have projects in this fields. Amongst Indian companies Satyam has been aggressively building datawarehousing project handling capabilities. Most of the clients for these projects are retail chains, telecom companies and banks.
What are various job profiles in datawarehousing projects?
The following are the different profiles in a typical datawarehouse project.
# Project Manager: This person will oversee the progress and be responsible for the success of the data warehousing project.
# DBA: This role is responsible to keep the database running smoothly.
# Technical Architect: This role is responsible for developing and implementing the overall technical architecture of the data warehouse.
# ETL Developer: This role is responsible for developing the extraction, transformation, and loading routine for the data warehouse.
# Front End Developer: This person is responsible for developing the front-end, whether it be client-server or over the web.
# OLAP Developer: This role is responsible for the development of OLAP cubes.
# Trainer: A person on the data warehouse team needs to work with the end users to get them familiar with how the front end is set up so that the end users can get the most benefit out of the data warehouse system.
# Data Modeler: This role is responsible for taking the data structure that exists in the enterprise and model it into a schema that is suitable for OLAP analysis.
# QA Group: This role is responsible for ensuring the correctness of the data in the data warehouse.
What are the skills required for a datawarehousing job?
Data warehouses use a database as the heart of the datawarehouse and several other tools for analysis of data. In fact the market for applications and tools built around data warehouses is much larger than market for databases. But strong skills in SQL are a must for these jobs. Following are some of the popular databases and tools used in DW, technical expertise with these tools and databases are key to a good job in this field. You can be an expert in any one of the following databases/tools.
ETL (Extraction, Transformation and Loading) Tools
IBM WebSphere Information Integration (Ascential DataStage)
OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) Tools
Microsoft Analysis Services
Business Objects (Crystal Reports)
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