Finally after 5 years I decided to spend 30 minutes and write 10 steps guide to build a data warehouse. I say 30 minutes so you don't treat it as MUST DO but only treat it as a guide or suggestions from someone who has been doing it for a while and shares his experience with you :)
The steps focus on building a data warehouse (and cube) but it doesn't include reporting which can take a while in some cases.
I hope you will enjoy reading it and please share your thoughts!
This is a guide that is most suitable for those who want to try something out with little effort and then refine it; This guide is suitable for a few projects but not all of them.
Below is Katie & Emil '10 steps' guide
Remember data warehouse is for business so build Kimball Bus Matrix with business (don't refer to tables!). This is high level 'road map' so use it as plan and clear objective. Update it frequently, especially after you complete business process.
Assess quality of data, list key challenges and estimate high level effort for each business process (measures group = data mart). If you use Scrum you can use story points (relative estimates = size not time)
Data warehouse project is for business people! Let them decide. Kimball Bus Matrix is a plan which is divided into 'journeys' (= business process / measure group = data mart). In step 2 you estimated effort in step 3 business prioritizes and decides which journey should be first.
Build proof of concept model using PowerPivot. For one process it really can take just hours or several days and you can use real data! (p.s. business people love when you use real data so do it!)
Ask business people to play with the Proof of Concept model in Excel (PowerPivot and PowerView - you can see Excel 2013 preview for free). Give them some time to find issues, limitations, obstacles. Give business people time to think about it and support them with your expert advice when they have questions.
Decide how you are going to deliver first business process (measure group = data mart), deal with issues (data quality). Remember to plan in details only one! This is critical because before you start second one you will be much wiser.
Important: Consider Microsoft Master Data Services (MDS 2012) not really to implement MDM but a tool to make your life much easier and deliver more value much quicker. This tool allows business to look after data in data warehouse, so they own it.... Remember to collaborate!
One business process (measure group = data mart) is generally quick (as you don't think about 10 at a time!) so aim to complete and present to business within 1-3 months. (The very first one might need some set up time so may take longer).
Do a demo and than ask interested people to play with it and provide feedback. Listen to their needs.
You had a plan. Probably not everything went to the plan. You got feedback and most likely you would have done things differently if you knew earlier. Now is the time. Find ways to do things better next time.
Go to step 1
I hope you like our '10 steps' guide. Obviously the subject is much more complex but if you are new hopefully our simple 10 steps will give you direction that will keep you on track.
Katie & Emil