A Data Warehouse, computer science homework help

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A Data Warehouse

Large companies that sell exclusively online are often able to sell products for less money than their competitors who have brick and mortar stores. Often, customers visit a brick and mortar store to examine a product, but ultimately purchase it online at a lower price.

Large online sellers like Amazon.com need OLTP databases capable of processing information quickly while storing tremendous amounts of data. When large volumes of information are created daily, a company needs a sound infrastructure and systems in place that are capable of storing and analyzing the massive amounts of data. A data warehouse becomes increasingly critical to this kind of business as the scope and customer base expand.

Based on the first letter of your last name, one of the following five departments of a large online company is assigned to you. The company sells products you could also find in a large brick and mortar bookstore chain:

  • A-E—Marketing
  • F-J—Sales
  • K-O—Shipping
  • P-T—IT
  • U-Z—Accounting

To prepare for this Discussion, consider the questions below from the perspective of your assigned department’s employees.

  1. What are the five most important questions your department needs to be able to answer on a regular basis?
  2. How current does information for your department need to be (real time, up to the minute, hourly, daily, only when changes occur)? Explain.
  3. How accurate must the information used for analysis be (99%, 95%, 92%, 85%,…)? Explain what this level of accuracy means operationally for your department.

A representative from each of the departments is attending a corporate meeting. The goal of the meeting is to make decisions about data warehousing that will meet the needs of all the departments. During the meeting, the questions below will be discussed.

  1. A data warehouse is an expensive undertaking for an organization. Why is it necessary to create and maintain the data warehouse?
  2. Should the data warehouse be centralized? Explain.
  3. Who will be responsible for managing the data warehouse?
  4. How are privacy and security enforced?
  5. Where does the data for the data warehouse originate?
  6. Considering standards, extraction, cleaning, and transformation, how does the data get into the warehouse?
  7. Customers like to track their orders. How will the system accomplish this? Should this be a function of the data warehouse or not?

Make a recommendation for choosing data marts for each department or a large centralized data warehouse for the entire company and defend your position.


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