Logical Data Models (LDM)

Logical Data Models define how different types of data relate to each other and helps serve as a roadmap for building an Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) or any data warehouse for that matter.

Graham had once defined a good data model to me as one that when looked at shows you how the business runs.  I finally got it when thinking about bad Data Models and their effect and formation.  First let it be known that for an EDW implementation I believe a LDM from a mainstream player like Teradata, Oracle or IBM is not only necessary but a mistake without it.

As with other Enterprise applications (SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft,…) the software manufacturers have had a chance to see many different implementations of their solution in various verticles.  Usually at some point they go ‘aha’ we should create a verticle based solution.  In the EDW world that starts witht the logical data model.  This serves as a pre-packaged blueprint and provides a starting point in the process of building and implementing an EDW.

This not only should shorten your development cycle, there will be many items available to you generically immediately to help drive immediate results.  Sure the model may not exaclty match how you do business but it will certainly help.  Your challenge will be how much do I change the model I bought.  Now that is a tough one and a conversation for a later date.  But if you can leverage it all and only make minor modifications as then for example:

  • Retail – you will have most major KPI’s out of the box, be able to hook into and leverage many different tools with pre-built objects or other artifacts built on other platforms (Teradata Retail Decisions works almost out of the box with MicroStrategy for great reporting)
  • Manufacturing – leverage the model and you will get the benefit of track-and-trace capability through the entire product lifecycle, RFID implementation
  • Telecom – going VOIP or IPTV leverage experience in areas that have already implemented this instead of building from scratch, billing – ohh billing – need I say more.

Hey this isn’t a silver bullet, but it really will make a difference in your ability to suceed in the short and the long term.  Let me know your experience with this.

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