Most organizations are exposed to increasing competition and must be able to orient themselves in their environment. Therefore, they need comprehensive systems that are able to present a holistic view of the organization and its business. A data warehouse (DW) may support such tasks, due to its abilities to integrate and aggregate data from organizationally internal, as well as external sources and present the data in formats that support strategic and tactical decision-makers.
Traditionally, DW development projects have focused on data originating from internal systems, whereas the benefits of data acquired external to the organization, i.e. external data, have been neglected. However, as it has become increasingly important to keep track of the competitive forces influencing an organization, external data is gaining more attention. Still, organizations are experiencing problems when incorporating external data and these hinder the organizations from exploiting the potential of external data and prevent them to achieving return on their investments. In addition, current literature fails to assist organizations in avoiding or solving common problems.
Therefore, in order to support organizations in their external data incorporation initiatives, a set of guidelines have been developed and contextualized. The guidelines are also complemented with a state of practice description, as a means of taking one step towards a cohesive body of knowledge regarding external data incorporation into DWs. The development of the guidelines, as well as the establishment of a state of practice description, was based upon the material from two literature reviews and four interview studies. The interview studies were conducted with the most important stakeholders when incorporating external data, i.e. the user organizations (2 studies), the DW consultants, and the suppliers of the external data. Additionally, in order to further ground the guidelines, interviews with a second set of DW consultants were conducted.
Kista: Institutionen för data- och systemvetenskap (tills m KTH) , 2005. , 180 p.