Is there a Documentation problem in Data Warehousing?

At Squarehouse, we definitely believe there is a documentation problem in data warehousing.

Photo by Martin Barraud/OJO Images / Getty Images
Photo by Martin Barraud/OJO Images / Getty Images

It would not be controversial to say that documentation is an important, if not vital artifact of your data warehousing implementation, but it is far too often overlooked or the first thing to get cut when timelines and budgets are tight.  Or worse, your organization invests a great deal of time and energy into creating documentation that misses the mark in some way and never gets used. 

So what's the problem?  Of course, we all know that technical developers do not like writing documentation, but we think the problem starts with the documentation features and functionality of today's data warehousing tools and platforms.  Here are some of our complaints:

  • They lack an interface for functional team members to contribute.
  • Their features are too tightly coupled with the physical warehouse implementation.
  • The documentation results are constrained and either too technical or too functional.

Simply put, documentation is not integral to the function of today's data warehousing tools and therefore, an afterthought.

At Squarehouse, we've looked at this problem and asked ourselves a lot of what-ifs...  

  • What if the tools for documentation were accessible by those with subject matter expertise?  
  • What if the documentation model was extensible and based on your functional data model?   
  • What if the documentation tool understood its audience and filtered itself dynamically?  
What if someone did focus on the documentation problem in data warehousing?

This problem fits exactly in the Squarehouse wheelhouse and because we do strongly believe that a well-documented data warehouse contributes to successful adoption, we believe this is a problem worth solving.

We're looking forward to sharing more about our data warehousing documentation solution very soon. Sign up for our newsletter for early access to details and demos.  

Do you have strong feelings about the data warehousing documentation problem?  Send us your feedback.  We'd love to hear from you!