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Business Intelligence Methods

Module 1: Data Warehousing (4)

Whole Course Planning

Introduction to Business Intelligence
Module 1: Design of Data Warehouses (fourth part)
Module 2: OLAP & Business Intelligence Tools
Module 3: Data Mining
Guest lectures

Stephan Poelmans Data Warehousing 4

2.5 Setting-up and maintaining a data

1. Design: DWH design broadly follows the methodology
for database design (i.e. conceptual design - logical
design - physical design).
2. Data fil up: operational data must often be processed
before being suitable for DWH inclusion.
3. Exploitation: a DWH must regularly be refilled with
operational data. When data from the DWH need to be
analyzed, data marts will be created. It may also be
necessary to restructure the DWH in order to adapt to
changing needs.
Stephan Poelmans Data Warehousing 4


Fill Up


DWH fill up: Extract/Transformation/Load (ETL)

Extracting operational data: Recover data from operational databases, often using SQL

(Structured Query Language, see below).

Data transformation:

Purification: errors and inaccuracies

Formatting: often multiple operational databases with different meta-data!

Customize datatype: e.g. numeric clientnumber in OLTP, an alphanumeric code in the


Adjustment codes: e.g. overlapping numbers in different locations

Adjustment data structure: for example, several tables to obtain a fact or dimension table

Enriched with external data: e.g. number of habitants of each city, information about

political stability in a country

Management of history and time dimension (e.g. adding history and date tables)
Summarizing data: e.g. periodic fact table: aggregating facts per month

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ETL: Extract/Transform/Load
Operational Data Extraction
Transformation Data
Load in the Data Mart/DWH

The processed data is inserted into the fact and dimension


Often through batch processing (large quantities

simultaneously) and software-oriented

Rework of loaded data

Totals, computation of means

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Datawarehouse Exploitation
Regularly filling the DWH: ETL process is repeated periodically: e.g. weekly,

monthly, quarterly.
Creation of Data marts: a data mart is a part of a DWH (e.g. a product

group, region, department, etc.)

Extracting data from the DWH;

Data transformation;

Load in data mart.

Reorganizations: When the business is changing fundamentally, it can be

necessary to reorganize the DWH. Such reorganization cannot be done

lightly because huge amounts of data stored in the DWH are involved.
Once the DWH is filled (up to date), data can be analyzed and results

presented. This is done using SQL, OLAP and Data Mining in order to
produce information (intelligence, see Modules 2 and 3).

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