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Thread: Estimated time for a BI solution

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    4

    Default Estimated time for a BI solution

    Hi all,

    I need to estimate the time needed for developing a BI solution using pentaho as ETL and OLAP tools. The problem is a little lack of experience to precisely estimate that, so I would be very glad if someone could give some help with that.

    A brief description of the business:

    A BI solution for pharmacies management having something around 2 fact tables, 15 metrics and 20 dimensions.
    We want to use Mondrian but changing its interface to create something more userfriendly.
    The staff have some theoric knowledge but no experience.

    I will be really greatful if someone help me to detail the macro processes involved on the job and the time needed for each one.


    Macro processes (just a guess):

    DW modeling

    ETL
    Mondrian changes
    Software integration

    Tests



    Thanks in advance.
    Henrique Fontana

  2. #2

    Default

    How long is a piece of string?

    Surely it all boils down to:

    Your current BI knowledge
    The speed at which you can learn
    The amount of data you have to work with and the way it is stored
    This is a signature.... everyone gets it.

    Join the Unofficial Pentaho IRC channel on freenode.
    Server: chat.freenode.net Channel: ##pentaho

    Please try and make an effort and search the wiki and forums before posting!
    Checkout the Saiku, the future of Open Source Interactive OLAP(http://analytical-labs.com)

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    2,010

    Default

    When i saw this post title, i immediately thought "how long is a piece of string", then i thought, i bet bugg has already said that...

    All I can offer, is make sure you add significant contingency. or just double any initial estimates for good measure.

    Dan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Right, let's see. I'm considering the hours needed for one person only to develop it, but after the estimative is complete we will alocate the staff for it, something around 3 or 4 people.

    Your current BI knowledge
    Only theoric knowledge.

    The speed at which you can learn
    We develop Java systems and have some senior and plain developers.

    The amount of data you have to work with and the way it is stored
    We work with postgresql databases with 300+ tables and a considerable amount of data.


    I hope that helps you to have a better view of our environment. Please, I really need that estimative.

    Thanks for the reply.

    Henrique Fontana

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    4

    Default

    My initial estimative is something like that

    DW Modeling > 120 hours
    ETL for 15 metrics e 20 dimensions > 500 hours
    Mondrian changes > 215 hours
    Software Integration > 150 hours

    Tests > 96 hours

    Total > 1081

    Around 6 months of work for a single professional.



    Are those macro processes all thats needed for a BI solution?

    Is that underestimated/overestimated?
    How much more or less hours will really be needed?

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by henriquenbf View Post
    Total > 1081

    Around 6 months of work for a single professional.
    Thats probably not too far from the mark, although saying that I've been playing around with pentaho for 12 months now and its still in a 'testing' phase
    This is a signature.... everyone gets it.

    Join the Unofficial Pentaho IRC channel on freenode.
    Server: chat.freenode.net Channel: ##pentaho

    Please try and make an effort and search the wiki and forums before posting!
    Checkout the Saiku, the future of Open Source Interactive OLAP(http://analytical-labs.com)

    http://mattlittle.files.wordpress.co...-bananaman.jpg

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Thanks man, but those processes I measured are correct? There aren't anything else needed for a BI solution?

    Thats probably not too far from the mark, although saying that I've been playing around with pentaho for 12 months
    Now you confused me bugg Oo

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    260

    Default

    henriquenbf

    Your estimates do not consider one important factor: user involvement.
    All you skills and experience comes to nothing if you do not build what the client wants.

    I would therefore also factor in some analysis and design phases, as well as verification and user testing.

    I woul also recommend, amongst others, a whitepaper "A structured approach to BI report specification" by the (recently) late Cyril Brookes, abd the book "Data Warehousing Fundamentals" by Pualraj Ponniah.

  9. #9

    Default Estimates

    Your numbers look good based on what you've provided. To underline crafter's point, involve users at every stage of your project. You don't want to burn through your project hours, then present your finished product only to hear it isn't what they want now (versus what they thought they wanted when they agreed to your requirements). Management the involvement - as they propose new scope as a result of their involvement, tell them "NO next phase", or tell them "YES, but X additional hours". Say Yes to everything without consequences and you will burn out your developers and inevitably fail. This seems obvious, but I've seen it many times from different angles.

    You didn't mention how well you know your source systems, the level of complexity, cleanliness of the data, crankiness of the DBAs, etc. All things to consider when estimating the ETL portion of the project.

    Out of curiosity, are you developing fact tables for the pharmacy back-end (prescriptions) or front-registers (non prescription sales)? I recall many interesting challenges when I did this for a large, East Coast, pharmacy chain a few years back. Fun stuff ;-)

    Chris

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