By Sunil Kumar (Published Many Years Back)


“First there were applications, then came data warehouses, next came the corporate information factory,” opined Bill Inmon, generally considered to be the father of data warehousing.

In an exclusive, Bill Inmon, founder and president, Inmon Data Systems said, “Data warehousing costs for an enterprise need to be considered in different timeframes and perspectives, say 2 years or 10 years. Considering the cost of storage and building a data warehouses enterprises needed to be careful of disk storage vendors.”


Relating the business angle, he said, with a data warehouse, the cost of reporting was cheap but nobody built one report. The payback on data warehousing came in the second, third, fourth reports not on the first report. Corporations built data warehouses because each application had its own interpretation of who a customer is. Data is lifted from the applications environment and is integrated to provide a corporate perspective as it is moved into the data warehouse and for the first time the corporation would have an integrated view of its own information.

Stressing on the good, the bad and the ugly in data warehousing, Inmon noted that critical success factors for data warehouse would be to build the data warehouse iteratively, not a big bang approach and that enterprises needed to be prepared for massive volumes of data.

According to him, critical success factors for data warehousing would include being alert to the fact that a data warehouse is built under a very non-classical development approach. Data marts are built with the data warehouse as the sole source since dormant data will creep into your data warehouse environment and must be managed. “Some critical success factors for data warehouses were the costs of warehousing must be post allocated back to the actual user. While a data model is essential to warehouse development, the creation of a model had better not hamstring the development process,” concluded Inmon.

 Father of Data Warehousing Speaketh

Visit Data Warehouse Overview (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Replying to a question on the difference between him and Ralph Kimball, the two big guns in data warehousing, he responded, “Ralph Kimball has a different perspective on data warehousing than me.”

 Father of Data Warehousing Speaketh
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