Data Warehousing Alternatives on Ownership – Organizational Structure

So last week I started a stream of posts that was going to discuss the various alternatives to sourcing strategy.

Before we get started though, I wanted to do some level-setting on a variety of fronts.  Today, let’s talk about organizational structure in support of Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence within the IT group.  As I go through each example, I will enclose a revised copy of this diagram to illustrate  the alternative structures.

In embarking on an Enterprise Data Warehouse implementation there are many different factors and skill sets that are represented by your team. 

The first factor to think about – Do I do it All Internally (this is a bit of a cheat on future posts, but is important).  Many organizations having guiding principles and organizational guidelines on staffing and structure.  We currently have three clients that work very differently:  One outsources to large organizations and is now moving to smaller nimbler vendors, another outsources to smaller organizations and is changing to large firms and the last preferes to do things in house and brings people in as advisors and back-fills on areas that they are not fully covered on. 

The second factor is the size of the Enterprise Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence program.  If you are Wal-mart and are talking 100’s of terabytes of data you approach it one way.  If you are a medium sized enterprise another and small organizations another.  This does not mean that all facets should not be covered, but constraints stop us from being able to build structure as they should.

These are all credible approaches, but in each there is a common theme – organizational structure (as a whole).

The enclosed diagram is a best in class structure that many organizations follow, the trick is that not all positions are one person, in some case it is many, in others a single person has many roles.  As an example, we were brought in to do the Architecture role by a client and ended up taking on the Program Management role (within the same person, until a suitable replacement could be found).  So depending on the many factors and I only raise a couple to illustrate the point, this is a fluid situation that requires careful consideration and guiding principles to set your intent.

This diagram may not be as legible as I would like, but feel free to email me at if you would like a better copy.

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