Data Warehouse… Process Warehouse?

  • November 24, 2009
  • Scott

Interesting post from ActionBase’s Jakob Ukelson, positing that we need a process warehouse to store all the process data we produce.

As he puts it:

That led me to start thinking about the notion of a process warehouse – something to akin to a data warehouse but for processes. This would seem to be the next thing up the food chain (from a business perspective) from a data warehouse. It would essentially be a system-of-record of actual business process usage in an organization. It would keep actual data on process execution (in other words not just a static process catalogue). That would provide the actual business context of data usage – valuable stuff especially in this day and age of increased regulation (and with the increased focus on Business Intelligence and Operational Excellence).

In fact, this is very much the line of thinking that led to Lombardi‘s introduction of the “Performance Server” in its BPMS- a capability for tracking interesting process data in context of the process.  It is a really powerful feature of Lombardi’s offering, and one that I’m surprised I don’t see in other vendors’ offerings.  Which also speaks to the fact that Lombardi could be pushing this message harder and investing more obviously in this key, differentiating aspect of its Teamworks suite.

Jakob notes that he couldn’t find references to “process warehouse” in the literature, despite the obvious relationship to a Data Warehouse – perhaps because Lombardi decided not to position the performance server as a “data warehouse”, and because other vendors just focused on the reporting side of the equation.  And it isn’t a data warehouse in the traditional sense – but maybe it should be.  Many customers feed the data from the performance server to their data warehouse for analysis, and the data is very high quality precisely because of its close correlation to the actual executing process.

Good to see someone else in the market thinking about these issues.

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