SQL Server Performance

Why so few post and members in OLAP/BI

Discussion in 'Analysis Services/Data Warehousing' started by Joozh, Feb 17, 2005.

  1. Joozh New Member

    Hi all,

    This "BI" and OLAP stuff has been around for many years now and I was reading somewhere that the BI buzz really started about 10 years back.

    However considering this and looking at various forums I somehow get the impressions that there are many many people working in the SQL area (DBA's, developers) but it appears that a very small percentage is working in the OLAP and BI area. Is this really the case? We have some really experienced people on this board and I would really appreciate their thoughts and experience on my questions.

    I mean if you go through this board and maybe others too, you might also notice the obvious difference in what appears as the possible people working in the OLAP/BI side of things.

    Please do share your thoughts on this?

    Regards.
  2. thomas New Member

    It's quite a specialized area, I guess. And people may work with it but not feel confident answering questions on it.

    We all have to dice with danger when answering an Analysis Services question before Raulie, in that he might come along afterwards and make us look really stupid!

    Tom Pullen
    DBA, Oxfam GB
  3. Joozh New Member

    <img src='/community/emoticons/emotion-1.gif' alt=':)' /> Let's hear what Raulie has to share.
  4. satya Moderator

    I feel there will be selective installations and few people working on them may not have freetime or social time to spend on forums.

    Couple of years ago my part of job used to 50% in DW/Analysis and that is stabilised and no serious issues to be noted, so elivated towards commercial SQL SErver 2000 arena.

    Satya SKJ
    Moderator
    http://www.SQL-Server-Performance.Com/forum
    This posting is provided “AS IS” with no rights for the sake of knowledge sharing.
  5. Raulie New Member

    Thanks guys but I'm blushing now I don't like to consider myself an expert or anything as I too am learning new things especially with this new release in SQL 2005.

    Like Tom and others mentioned this is a specialized area within Information Technology also note that not all companies have the budget to implement a full scale BI solution. Most don't even have a data mart let alone a warehouse, so you also got to consider that.

    I like to help people in anyway I can, I also learn from from you all.

    Raulie
    Hewlett-Packard
  6. vbkenya New Member

    Many DBAs and developers use a wide array of Business Intelligence tools/products. Unfortunately SQL Server Analysis Services is not exactly easy to learn and use effectively. A majority [of us] still use complex queries within OLTP databases to generate BI reports for management-type consumers and enjoy the suffering attendant to such implementations.

    As to consequent forum participation; there is bound to be a serious gap between skills, familiarity and the issues raised therein. Hey! T-SQL, XPATH, Reporting Services and related technologies are enough to occasionally raise my blood pressure without the assistance of an un-decipherable MDX query.

    Also note that most OLAP experts work or have worked with pretty large setups (i.e. HP for Raulie). They normally don't have a choice but to implement BI the right way all the time and thus the accumulated experience.

    I might just give MDX a try one of these days.

    Nathan H.O.
    Moderator
    SQL-Server-Performance.com
  7. wildh New Member

    Joozh,

    Lets look at this from a slightly wider angle, more to do with company information rather than just Microsoft / Oracle etc DBA#%92s and developers.

    As we already know, most companies keep data in databases. And when a company uses a database it does so within the confines of, normally, two camps; Transactional (OLTP) and analytical (OLAP), and that most OLAP tools look at a Datawarehouse.

    As you#%92ve spotted the proportion of people who appear more skilled in BI/ MI/ Datawarehousing (whatever you want to call it) are very disproportionate than those who appear more skilled in administration or more conventional development.

    Now, if you believe in market forces; For example – the number of people doing a particular job is based on the number of jobs available for those people to do, you have to conclude that there are few companies willing to undertake Datawarehouse projects.

    There are many reasons why companies don#%92t have BI people who are skilled in datawarehouses. Among the top reasons are – over time reporting has grown organically within the company, eg. every accountant has developed 1 million spreadsheets that adequately provide their manager with a balance value of 0. The view often tends to be - we have a system, why spend money to do the same thing. This brings me onto another issue; cost. Datawarehouse projects tend to be rather costly. Datawarehouses also have a tendency to fail, not because they are inherently bad or complex things, but because they are usually developed and built poorly from the start. Another point to consider is that it is very hard to put a value on the return on investment, therefore, a nearsighted decision maker may say - a Datawarehouse is going to cost us 100k to provide the same type of information we already have! Why spend 100k when the return on the investment is small? After all, the project will probably end up failing, or run over time and budget.

    Ok, I may come across as cynic as to why there are few BI/ Datawarehouse people about, but I#%92ve been to a few places where this type of narrow minded mentality exists, and it#%92s only when you have built the damn thing that managers start to come out of the shadows and claim they instigated the whole idea. When a manager sees that they can get information for themselves at the click of a button rather than having to wait half a day for someone else to collate 7 spreadsheets from 7 different sites, they suddenly see their return on investment.

    Those are some of my thoughts on the issue.

  8. Joozh New Member

    Hi wildh, Hi eveyone,<br /><br />Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience.<br /><br />I however will say that your following comments appear as if we share a similar experience <img src='/community/emoticons/emotion-1.gif' alt=':)' /><br /><br />"....and it#%92s only when you have built the damn thing that managers start to come out of the shadows and claim they instigated the whole idea. When a manager sees that they can get information for themselves at the click of a button rather than having to wait half a day for someone else to collate 7 spreadsheets from 7 different sites, they suddenly see their return on investment."<br /><br />Regards.<br />

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