Data Warehousing Project - Performance Tuning

Data Warehousing > Data Warehouse Design > Performance Tuning

Task Description

There are three major areas where a data warehousing system can use a little performance tuning:

  • ETL - Given that the data load is usually a very time-consuming process (and hence they are typically relegated to a nightly load job) and that data warehousing-related batch jobs are typically of lower priority, which means that the window for data loading is not very long. A data warehousing system that has its ETL process finishing right on-time is going to have a lot of problems simply because often the jobs do not get started on-time due to factors that is beyond the control of the data warehousing team. As a result, it is always an excellent idea for the data warehousing group to tune the ETL process as much as possible.
  • Query Processing - Sometimes, especially in a ROLAP environment or in a system where the reports are run directly against the relationship database, query performance can be an issue. A study has shown that users typically lose interest after 30 seconds of waiting for a report to return. My experience has been that ROLAP reports or reports that run directly against the RDBMS often exceed this time limit, and it is hence ideal for the data warehousing team to invest some time to tune the query, especially the most popularly ones. We present a number of query optimization ideas.
  • Report Delivery - It is also possible that end users are experiencing significant delays in receiving their reports due to factors other than the query performance. For example, network traffic, server setup, and even the way that the front-end was built sometimes play significant roles. It is important for the data warehouse team to look into these areas for performance tuning.

Time Requirement

3 - 5 days.


  • Performance tuning document - Goal and Result

Possible Pitfalls

Make sure the development environment mimics the production environment as much as possible - Performance enhancements seen on less powerful machines sometimes do not materialize on the larger, production-level machines.

Next Section: Query Optimization

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