I have had a few conversations both internally and externally where we eventually turned to each other and said it is not about the technology, it is about the value to the business.
It really hiw me home last week over a beer with a client who clearly gets it (you know who you are). He is very successful, his business clients like and respect him and he lives in IT. So as we closed the conversation we inevitably talked about family and he has a fairly new baby and mine is now three – and somehow it reminded me of this great blog that I read when I was first wanting to learn about Integration into and out of a Data Warehouse "ETL, ELT, EAI, EII and E-I-E-I-O". Dan does a great job putting the tools in perspective on their current state.
I know this is a technical discussion, but it helps get the definitions of terms out of the way.
But really it comes down to why are we doing this?
- Increase Revenue
- Decrease Cost
- Shore up New or Existing Business
- Get New Customers
- Cross Sell / Up Sell
- … you add yours … the list is infinite
So we should be starting with the business requirement, question, challenge, etc. and then moving down from there. A great example of the value of the Data Warehouse Road Map is just that (see previous post).
Start with the questions the business needs to ask then work down. This will tell you the holes and the integration issues. Now we can identify the right approach to solving the problem and leverage our guiding principals. But as much as we try we always get caught talking about the technology. To the end-user it should be irrelevant a black box as long as the answer is correct, on time and helps move forward the business.