If you hired contractors to create your data warehouse for you it is a good idea to schedule knowledge transfer sessions between the contractors and your data development team. Failing to do this could leave your team dependent on contractors when future development is needed.
1. Prepare ahead of time. Your new business intelligence solution will require you to use new software that is specific to the vendor. Before meeting with developers to discuss the logic that was used in the creation of your data warehouse you should learn as much as you can about using the new software. I was able to purchase an e-book that included tutorials on the data management tool that I will be using. After walking through some of the tutorials I had a good idea about how the data would be migrated from source systems and transformed into data that would then become our data warehouse.
2. Now that you are prepared have an interactive meeting that includes the contracted developers and your in-house data team. Hopefully this type of interaction is anticipated by the contractors, if it isn’t you should come prepared with more specific questions that will guide the contractor into the type of learning dynamic that you seek. Have the contracted developers show your data team how the software connects to your source systems and how the flow of data is configured. Your data team should pay close attention to the transformations that are taking place and how data is arranged as it flows from source systems to data staging areas and finally to the data warehouse.
3. Be sure that your data team takes a lot of notes during the learning sessions. It is easy to make sense of the data flow structure when someone is walking you through it, but after several days you may forget the little tips and tricks that the contractor used during development. I recommend typing the notes into a formal document that will grow with each new knowledge transfer session. This will serve as a resource for your current data group as well as a learning guide for future IT employees.
Knowledge transfer sessions are some of the last steps that you will take before your new business intelligence solution goes live. Encourage your team to get as much out of each of these sessions as possible because this is likely the only time they will receive this type of one-on-one training that is specific to your data set.
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