The ResiliEnt Hybrid Data Methodology

While the data warehousing industry has matured significantly in the last decade, data warehousing methodologies are still rapidly evolving.   Arguments continue as to which methodology has reached the status of being ‘widely recognized’.   Two of the leading experts are Bill Inmon and Ralph Kimball.

We also agree with using a ‘blending’ of methodologies, and we call ours The ResiliEnt Hybrid, or the “The Carry Forward” method.  Our method pulls all data available (as advocated by Inmon) while using a denormalized design (as advocated by Kimball).

Blending Methodologies

  • quickly gaining favor in the data warehousing industry
  • allows the flexibility to tailor solutions

‘The Carry Forward’ method

  • pulls all data available (as advocated by Inmon)
  • uses a denormalized design (as advocated by Kimball)

Important points about the ResiliEnt Data Warehouse:

  • The Operational Source Data can be any source data, from operational systems to an Excel spreadsheet.
  • The Staging Area is where all the data is brought together, cleansed, transformed, and readied for the Presentation Area (Data Marts).  This area is off-limits to end users.
  • Both the Staging Area and Presentation Area (Data Marts) contain complete histories of the data.  The Staging Area contains the original source information, making reprocessing much simpler.  The Presentation Area (Data Mart) contains all conformed records.
  • The Presentation Area (Data Marts) is where the organization does its data retrievals.

We like to look at a data warehouse as analogous to a restaurant:

  • The Operational Source Data is the pantry or refrigerator, where all the ‘raw food’ (raw data) is originally stored.
  • The Staging Area is the kitchen.  As with a restaurant, ‘customers’ (end-users) are not allowed in the kitchen.
  • The Raw Staging Area is the counter top where you place the ‘raw food’ (raw data) for preparation.
  • The Refined Staging Area is where the ‘preparation’ takes place.  The ‘meal’ (final cleansed data) to be prepared dictates the ‘amount of work’ (number of refined staging tables) needed.  To create your ‘meal’ (final cleansed data), you may simply need a bowl and a spoon; or you may need bowls, pots, pans, and an hours worth of cooking in the oven.
  • The Final Staging Area is the plate where you place the ‘meal’ (final cleansed data).
  • The Data Mart (aka: Presentation Area) is the dining room.  The ‘meal’ (final cleansed data) is carried from the ‘kitchen’ (Staging Area) to the dining room where your ‘customer can enjoy the meal you have prepared’ (end-users can query the final cleansed data).

Bon appétit!