IT Business Edge contributor Michael Stevens has uploaded a checklist that helps users put together a plan for selling upper-level management on data warehousing. The typical ROI-based business case will not work well for selling a data warehousing initiative to upper management. While there may be some long-term savings that can be quantified, they will almost certainly be outweighed by costs, Stevens says.
The real benefits of data warehousing are indirect: the ability of your company to make better, faster decisions resulting in cost savings or increased revenue. For example, a data warehouse can help a manufacturer identify poorly performing suppliers or uncover sales patterns that could be exploited to boost the top line.
Here are a few of the tips from the checklist:
Multi-Source Reports. Data warehouses can be set up to accommodate data from multiple sources to provide a clear picture of relationships that would otherwise be hard to track, e.g. the relationship of logistics decisions to sales or training costs to productivity.
Reliable Data. Data warehousing initiatives typically include a data cleansing process that eliminates, for example multiple names for the same individual or part. As a result, the data that decisions are based upon is more accurate.
Drill-down. A data warehouse can present data at any level of detail – from global, to regional, to site-by-site. It can therefore serve the needs and management styles of all managers – those who are only interested in the big picture and those who want to examine highly granular data.