APPLICATION: Montgomery Ward Data Warehouse Pilot
-- Montgomery Ward, Chicago, constantly faces the issue of maintaining proper levels of inventory for advertised
items. The Chicago-based department store chain organized a project team in March 1997 to develop reports that
could project potential inventory problems and measure inventory performance once a promotion was completed.
By May, Montgomery Ward had signed agreements with Sunnyvale, Calif-based Prism Solutions Inc., a maker of warehouse
tools, and SPR, a data warehouse consulting company, to implement a pilot project.
Morton Mease, director of information services and technology at Montgomery Ward, said the guiding project principles
were: to develop a limited scope data model; to source data elements; to extract and load data using a repeatable
process and; to establish an information architecture on which to build.
The Prism Warehouse Executive was used to generate programs that would extract and integrate data from multiple
source environments. A major challenge was the complexity of both the source and target environments. The Montgomery
Ward database is comprised of 43 relational tables residing in DB2 PE. According to Mease, the development staff
using the tools had no detailed knowledge of the source systems from which data was to be extracted for the data
The Prism iterations methodology was implemented, and the project was completed in October 1997. Management
agreed that all objectives were met, and integrated data was made available for a decision support process.
- Deborah Melewski
|MORTON MEASE, director, information services and technology, Montgomery Ward
ROM SIWEK, DBA, Montgomery Ward
BARRY SHERMAN, consulting project manager, Prism Solutions
STEVE MEISTER, data architect, Prism Solutions
ARIF MOHAMED, data acquisition, SPR (a Prism consulting partner)
CLARENCE EAST, data acquisition, SPR
ART LEUBBE, data acquisition, Prism Solutions
RICHARD GERBRANDT, data modeler, Prism Solutions
MARK CLYMER, source system expert, Whitman-Hart
SHUBHAYU RAKSHIT, data access, Prism Solutions
MAHESH KRISHNMURTHY, data access, SPR
LAUREL CLARK, documentation, Prism Solutions
The pilot project allowed the company to learn more about its operational systems and determine requirements for
development of a production data warehouse system. Long term, a data warehouse and flexible data access capabilities
are expected to provide significant business value to the entire organization.
Prism Warehouse Manager, Prism Warehouse Executive, Prism Warehouse Directory; MicroStrategy DSS Toolset
IBM RS/6000 SP2
ESCON channel attachment
IBM Pentium workstations