Monthly Archives: March 2010

Approaches to Building BI Applications and Data Warehouses

Original Post date 2/27/09

I’d like to comment a bit on the differences between BI and Data Warehousing as I believe they are commonly confused and used interchangeably.  Having just come from a project which mixed the two together with poor results, I think some discussion on the topic is a good idea and one that is fresh in my head.  This is a long post, so go get some coffee (or Red Bull) first.

Before I get into this, I fully understand and accept that there are varied opinions about this topic.  I am not going to propose a one-size-fits-all philosophy.  There also may be some technical features out there which some may claim make my comments obsolete.  I am going to focus on the purpose of the two and how that drives how you build a BI system.  If you are hoping I’ll get into a Kimball vs. Inmon data warehouse architecture or modeling discussion you will be disappointed.  I recommend you read their books and articles for the details of their solutions.

I am going to approach this by defining two very distinct items at different ends of a spectrum, and then discuss how they can and cannot be merged into the same thing.  The point is to contrast the two needs so conflicts become apparent. Read the rest of this entry