BlackBox’s Data Warehouse Expertise

BlackBox’s specialists bring full DW lifecycle experience to projects, having implemented DWs in both Federal and commercial environments. We specialize in Oracle solutions but can implement DW theory across any platform.

Data Warehouses in Context

Data Warehouses (DWs) and Business Intelligence (BI) platforms are essential tools in extracting the business value out of disparate data collected throughout organizations. They have become the method of choice for delivering executive reports, conducting trend analyses, forecasting, and providing competitive information to decision makers – especially for large data sets.

Data Warehouses often use the same software and hardware technologies as classical database systems; however they are designed in a different way in order to optimize the fast retrieval of data.

DWs are not designed to update or alter the data within the data set; instead the manipulation of data is conducted in pre-cleaning, extraction, and transformation steps that precede the loading of the data into the warehouse. Business Intelligence tools are then attached to the DW in order to manipulate and display essential information for strategic decisions and tactical planning. In combination DWs and BIs can automate collection and presentation of data and free staff from mundane data manipulation tasks.

Data Warehouse
Dimensional Data Modeling
Create a matrix of reference data and deliver a dimensional data model of facts, dimensions, and appropriate aggregates designed to scale with the dataset and best serve the clients’ reporting needs.
Hardware and Tool Selection
Evaluate and choose hardware, database, and BI software vendors. This is a balance of the size of the dataset, the number of users predicted, the sophistication of the users, and the budget for the project. Larger budget organizations may benefit from a new class of Data Warehouse Appliances, Columnar solutions, In-Memory computing options or even a Big Data solution to your reporting needs.
Reference & Metadata Data Management
Develop strategies for the collection and use of reference data (data indexes) and metadata (electronic descriptions of the data) to speed retrieval time. Key to a DW implementation is a metadata solution that allows clients to easily advertise data points, developers to do impact analysis of system changes, and integrates well with front end tools. BlackBox has implemented COTS metadata products and built customized solutions. We have also built successful type-I/type-II dimensional data maintenance systems.
Physical Database Implementation
Create DW systems over a number of Operating Systems, specializing in UNIX-based systems (with experience in high I/O DW solutions on Oracle and UNIX servers) and a variety of hardware configurations (including SAN/NAS and design of RAID-level file systems). This is done in conjunction with defined backup/recovery and disaster recovery processes.
Ensure the efficient and accurate ETL of data into data warehouse through the use of data analysis, custom ETL tools, and commercial ETL tools. We verify data quality throughout the process.
DW to BI Tool Integration & Reporting
Implement Online Analytical Processing (“OLAP”) tools and integrate the BI tool to the physical database particulars of the client’s DW system.
Fact Sheets