In a recent interview, the folks at WhereScape asked me some questions about data modeling challenges.
In Business Intelligence, modeling is a social activity. You cannot design a good model alone. You have to go out and talk to people.
As a modeler, your job is to facilitate consensus among all interested parties. Your models need to reflect business needs first and foremost. They must also balance a variety of other concerns — including program objectives, the behavior of your reporting and visualization tools, your data integration tools, and your DBMS.
It’s also important to understand what information resources are available. You need to verify that it is possible to fill the model with actual enterprise data. This means you need to profile and understand potential data sources. If you don’t consider sources of data, your designs are nothing more than wishful thinking.
When considering a non-relational data sources, resist the urge to impose structure before you explore it. You’ve got to understand the data before you spend time building a model around it.
Check out the video above, where I discuss these and other topics. For a full-sized version, visit the WhereScape page.