Which Data Warehouse Architecture Is Most Successful?

  • Ariyachandra T
  • Watson H
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For over a decade, discussion and even controversy have lingered about which is the best data warehouse architecture. The two giants of the data warehousing field, Bill Inmon and Ralph Kimball, are at the heart of the disagreement. Inmon advocates the hub-and-spoke architecture (e.g., the Corporate Information Factory), while Kimball promotes the data mart bus architecture with conformed dimensions. There are other architecture alternatives, but these two options are fundamentally different approaches, and each has strong advocates. Considering the importance of the architecture choice, surprisingly little research on the topic exists. The literature tends to either describe the architectures, provide case-study examples, or present survey data about the popularity of the various options. There has been little rigorous, empirical research, and this motivated us to investigate the success of the various architectures. Here we highlight and summarize some findings from our research, but we encourage you to read the complete research report

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  • Thilini Ariyachandra

  • Hugh J Watson

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