Monday, October 20, 2008

Five Steps to Optimizing BI and Data Warehouse Performance

David Stodder published today in Intelligent Enterprise, an interesting article called Five Steps to Optimizing BI and Data Warehouse Performance. He is vice president and research director at Ventana Research and the article is an executive summary of the resulting report entitled Optimizing BI and Data Warehouse Performance.

Stodder talks that with the pressure is on business intelligence and data warehousing professionals to handle ever-higher data volumes and ever-more-complex queries while reducing decision latency.

Optimizing BI and data warehouse performance is vital to meeting business objectives. Based on the results of Ventana's recent research, and on knowledge of best practices involving people, processes, information and technology, Ventana Research recommends the five following steps toward BI and data warehouse performance improvement:

1. Let business drivers and benefits direct performance improvement efforts. Before taking steps to improve BI and data warehouse performance, make sure you understand the purpose of these systems, the objectives they serve and the benefits that your organization expects to derive from optimization. This knowledge will help you set priorities for tuning current systems and augmenting them with new systems.

2. Improve information assets for analyzing and tuning performance. Determine early on what information sources your organization uses to understand performance. In most organizations, the sources are diverse and include both people and systems.

3. Use performance demand to guide deployment of appliances, specialized databases and query accelerators. Determine your strategy for deploying appliances, specialized databases and query accelerators based on analysis of performance demand. A growing trend is use of BI and data warehouse appliances, which offer preconfigured combinations of software, hardware and storage systems.

4. Reduce the time it takes to remedy unsatisfactory performance and implement information change requests. Make it a goal for your organization to improve your users' experience by addressing problems and implementing information change requests rapidly. A critical factor in improving response time is to know when performance demands will be at their highest so you can plan resources accordingly.

5. Assess your organization's maturity and invest for improvement.
Ventana Research measures organizational maturity using a four-level scale. In this benchmark research, most participating organizations rank at the middle levels, with 38 percent at the third-highest Strategic level and 29 percent one step down at the Advanced level.
Use these results to assess your own maturity and to determine where you can apply improvements in terms of your people, processes, information and technology.

The complete "Optimizing BI and Data Warehouse Performance" report, which is available for purchase from Ventana Research, offers extensive detail on its benchmark research, including 15 charts and graphs, on the demographics and people, process, information and technology maturity of survey participants.

This is an interesting article and I think the report is also an interesting benchmark research about this important issue.

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