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3 reasons why data documentation matters

19 January, 2016 11:01:23 AM · Martin

The core of good business intelligence is a data warehouse, where information from various sources can be collected and organised in an effective manner to provide great results. Using a wealth of data helps provide analytical BI which not only allows you to react to what has happened, but predict what’s going to happen.

Good documentation is a huge benefit to the operation of a data warehouse, and therefore of benefit to the business itself. Why?


1. It allows better substitution within the team and helps onboarding of new colleagues.

Cooperation among technical and non-technical team members is essential for quality data-driven decision making. Both developers and business analysts need shared, easily-understood visual tools to improve context and understanding. By making use of interactive data flow maps, you dramatically reduce onboarding time of new members, while improving existing team members’ ability to interact effectively with the broader organization. 


2. It improves communication with both external and internal customers.

With the proper tools to support their processes, IT can be heroes, but without them, IT is viewed as an impediment to business agility. Data or reporting specialists always ask the DWH team for answers about how data were prepared to interpret them well. The response often takes ages.With SQLdep, a visualization of the data warehouse is available in minutes, not only saving tremendous amounts of time, but also freeing up resources to focus on critical business activities.


3. Auditing becomes a far simpler process.

No one likes to face the situation where an auditor turns up and asks a question to which you do not readily have an answer. Preparing a satisfying answer—meaning data documentation—can take you months. It’s even possible you would have to hire a few more contractors to finish everything on time. With SQLdep you can automatically trace data flows—where the data came from and where it’s heading. You will have reliable documentation that gives you perfect data governance.

There are many services which provide a great data warehouse infrastructure, but many of these do not provide efficient services when it comes to interpreting the structure  of the DWH. Various automated analysis services which handle SQL code are available, but until recently none have been reliable enough to operate on a business scale. he scale on which SQLdep operates is ideal for companies with enormous amounts of code to handle. Even millions of lines of SQL code can be processed in seconds, a task which would otherwise take months or even years to analyse manually. This automated documentation process can obviously speed up data warehouse migration significantly. 

The smooth documentation process which SQLdep provides is a great ROI. It enormously reduces time spent manually analysing code. Data visualization maps provide alternative views which are beneficial to a wide variety of users, from data management teams to analysts, to management itself. The way in which a DWH operates no longer needs to be explained in a lengthy meeting, or even an wordy email. It’s simple to link relevant visualizations to whoever needs them.

Read a case study

SQLdep saved GE Money twelve months of work. GE Money was searching for ways to make the development and administration of its 20TB data warehouse faster and more efficient.