Author: David Marco
Publisher: Wiley and Sons (ISBN 0471355232)
This book is a complete guide to implementing meta data (which is recognized as one of the critical success factors of the data warehouse). It is particularly important because, while most
organization give lip service to meta data, there are few that have been successful in its implementation. The reasons for the failures include lack of understanding about how to make it happen.
This book provides that understanding.
Marco tells us why meta data is needed, identifies owners and users. He discusses standards and highlights the importance of those standards for tool meta data sharing. Marco provides a roadmap for
selecting meta data tools including a checklist for product and vendor evaluation. The CD-ROM has this checklist with space for weighting, scoring and providing supporting reasons for the scores
(for example: “Support costs may exceed our budget because vendor charges to fix bugs.”)
The chapter on Organizing and Staffing with its role definitions will be helpful to those who have to make the case for a strong team. This chapter also discusses meta data failures and the reasons
for those failures, a.k.a. Worst Practices.
The meta data project plan identifies the requisite tasks, dependencies, suggests durations (your time will, no doubt, vary) and also suggests the roles of the people who will be performing the
tasks. The CD-ROM has this task list in a Word document so it can be tailored to your project.
Marco suggests an approach to provide a metric for data warehouse quality including the quality impacted by operational procedures and provides this metric as implemented through meta data.
(“If you can’t measure it, you can’t control it.”)
For those who want to develop their own meta data database, the book not only describes how to do so but also provides the data definition language (DDL).
Meta data in three or four years will look much different than it does today. The chapter on the Future of Meta Data anticipates where meta data is going and how it will look in the future.
Readers will find the glossary useful both for better understanding the text and for creating an organizational data warehouse glossary.
Many of the points made in this book are relevant, not just for meta data, but for the data warehouse as well. This book is a mandatory reference and reading for data warehouse architects and data
warehouse project managers as well as for those who will have the front-line responsibility for implementing the meta data repository. This book will be used over and over for those in the