Data Warehouse and BI team staffing

This study illustrates how global companies typically structure business intelligence resources and what teams and departments are involved in the support and maintenance of an Enterprise Data Warehouse.
This proposal may range widely across the organizations depending on the company requirements, the sector and BI strategy, however it might be considered as a template.

The successful business intelligence strategy requires the involvement of people from various departments. Those are mainly:
- Top Management (CIO, board of directors members, business managers)
- Finance
- Sales and Marketing
- IT - both business analysts, technical managers, architects, experts and specialists

Steering committee and Business owners

A typical enterprise data warehouse environment is under control and direction of a steering committee. The steering committee sets the policy and strategic direction of the data warehouse and is responsible for the prioritization of the DW initiatives.
The steering committee is usually chaired by a Data Warehouse business owner. Business owner acts as a sponsor and a champion of the whole BI environment in an organization.

Business Data Management group and Data governance team

This group forms the Business Stream of the Business Intelligence staff and consist of a cross-functional team of representatives from the business and IT (mostly IT managers and analysts) with a shared vision to promote data standards, data quality, manage DW metadata and assure that the Data Warehouse is The Single Version of the Truth.
Within the data governance group each major data branch has a business owner appointed to act as data steward. One of the key roles of the data steward is to approve access to the Data Warehouse data.
The new DW projects and enhancements are shaped and approved by the Business Data Management group. The team also defines the Business Continuity Management and disaster recovery strategy.

Data Warehousing team

The IT stream of a Data Warehouse is usually the vastest and the most relevant from the technical perspective. It is hard to name this kind of team precisely and easily as it may differ significantly among organizations. This group might be referenced as Business Intelligence team, Data Warehousing team, Information Analysis Group, Information Delivery team, MIS Support, BI development, Datawarehousing Delivery team, BI solutions and services. Basically, the creativity of HR departments in naming BI teams and positions is much broader than you can imagine.

Some organizations also group the staff into smaller teams, oriented on a specific function or a topic.

The typical positions occupied by the members of the datawarehousing team are:

  • Business Intelligence IT manager is a very important role because of the fact that a BI manager is a link between the steering committee, the data governance group and the experts.
  • Team Leaders - by far the most often each of the Data Warehousing team subgroups has its own team leader who reports to a Business Intelligence IT manager. Those are very often experts who had been promoted and in most cases they also do development tasks with the team members.
  • Data Warehouse architect - a technical person which needs to understand the business strategy and implement that vision through technology. It is quite common that the team leader and the architect is the same person.
  • Data Warehouse analyst - those are people who know the OLTP and MIS systems and the dependencies between them in an organization. Very often the analysts create functional specification documents, high-level solution outlines, etc.
  • Business Intelligence specialist, Data Warehouse specialist, DW developer which are technical BI experts
  • ETL modeler, ETL developer - data integration technical experts
  • Reporting analyst, OLAP analyst , Information Delivery analyst, Report designer, dashboard developer - people with analytical minds with some technical exposure
  • Business intelligence, data warehousing and ETL process testers

    DW Support and administration

    This team is focused on the support, maintenance and resolution of operational problems within the data warehouse environment. The people included may be:

  • Database administrators (DBA)
  • Administrators of other BI tools in an organization (database, reporting, ETL)
  • Helpdesk support - customer support support the reporting front ends, accesses to the DW applications and other hardware and software problems

    Sample Data warehouse team organogram

    Enterprise Data Warehouse organizational chart with all the people involved and a sample staff count. The head count in our sample data warehousing team lists 35 people. Be aware that this organogram depends heavily on the company size and its mission, however it may be treated as a good illustration of proportions on the BI resources in a typical environment.
    Keep in mind that not all positions involve full time resources.

    • Steering committee, Business owners - 3 *
    • Business Data Management group - 5
    • DW team - 20:
         1 BI architect
         5 DW/ETL specialists and developers
         3 report designers and analysts
         6 DW technical analysts
         5 Testers* (an analyst may also play the role of a tester)
    • Support and maintenance - 5*

    * - resource partially involved, full-time not required, the person is also responsible for other areas than business intelligence