Including flat files in the data warehouse

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Including flat files in the data warehouse

Post  tmorton on Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:03 pm

We are struggling with adopting a new feature into our data warehouse to address certain requirements.

Background
Currently, a robust BI solution exists using a presentation layer and star schema data model that meets the reporting needs for a particular department (i.e. Department A). However, a new requirement was introduced that requires Department A to supply information to other departments to support their legacy applications and data mart needs (i.e. Department Data Feed). The requirement states that the information needs to be presented in sequential file with several supporting descriptions of code values. Basically it is a file that is a snapshot in time of how a set of information looked.

Requirement
Department A wants to make this sequential file available in the data warehouse. Some reasons behind this desire are:
- Departments that are receiving the file like how the information is grouped together in the Department Data Feed since the data structure is easy to understand. This is compared with the existing star schema data model where mechanisms like surrogate ID, logically deleted row, and Type 1/2 Dimensioning are being used.
- The Department Data Feed contains information not available in the data warehouse yet to support some reporting requirements. It may take a while before this additional data is adopted by the data warehouse.

There is a fear of introducing these files into the data warehouse that we will be breaking data warehousing standards. Are there any suggestions on how to address the request without comprising these standards?

Thank you for your help and guidance.

tmorton

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Re: Including flat files in the data warehouse

Post  ngalemmo on Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:27 am

It is not unusual to provide extracts to other systems. But when the business says they want it 'in the data warehouse' it need not be taken literally. What they are saying is they want it accessible in a manner similar to other reports. There is no reason not to have a location to place these files where users can get to them.
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