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Data Modeling Case Study: Omaha Power

By   /  September 2, 2011  /  No Comments

Powerby Angela Guess

A recent article makes a business case for data modeling tools using Omaha Power as a prime example. The article begins, “The need to document an increasingly complex data warehouse implementation led Omaha Public Power District’s IT crew to purchase a new set of graphical data modeling tools — but winning approval for the project from company higher-ups meant putting aside the technical jargon.”

It continues, “The public utility — which provides electricity in much of Nebraska — decided to purchase ER/Studio XE data modeling software from Embarcadero Technologies Inc., said Bill Harrison, a business intelligence (BI) and data warehouse architect with the company. Harrison said he managed to gain approval for the purchase by ignoring the technical aspects of the situation, focusing on the bottom line, and explaining the consequences of inaction… Having resolved to leave most of the tech talk out of the conversation, Harrison went to Omaha Power’s higher-ups prepared to answer several questions. They included: Why do we need this tool? How is it going to benefit the company? What is the payback?”

The article goes on, “Data models — which show how data sources and database tables relate to each other and the data warehouse — were partially documented at Omaha Power in the form of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. But those documents were difficult for the average business worker to understand. Harrison made it clear to company brass that the state of affairs would eventually lead to costly mistakes.”

Read more here.

Creative Commons License photo credit: SpecMode

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