I'm starting to read various chapters from 'Programming Microsoft SQL Server 2008' by Leonard Lobel and his co-authors. I found his Chapter 14, 'Data Warehousing', contains a very good section on the solutions and technologies that were 'main stream' prior to the deployment of data warehousing and business intelligence solutions.
This brings up an excellent (debatable) point. In my opinion, anyone wishing to enter the field of DW/BI (regardless of software vendor) should have good solid prior experience in traditional OLTP-based applications and systems. This is my opinion because (as 'Programming Microsoft SQL Server 2008' mentions), OLTP systems have been around long before OLAP and data warehousing. Furthermore, data warehousing requires us to extract data regularly from OLTP systems. Finally, because data warehousing is an evolution that was created to address the many constraints found in traditional OLTP systems for decision support requirements.
What do you think? You could certainly argue that so long as one has a basic understanding of the systems they are collecting data from they should be fine regardles of this prior experience. Let's take this discussion one step further, what about these various DW/BI Training companies who now promote learning DW/BI without considering the individuals background? I am sure the training companies don't care (that much) but are their customers going to be able to obtain real-world DW/BI jobs without having any OLTP experience prior (and probably no DW/BI experience as well)?
YEAH RIGHT! (I am now on a separate 'soap box'). If you truly want to assist and train people in DW/BI you should enforce a course requirement that people have X number of years experience in OLTP. Otherwise, you are teaching people 'Algebra' without them having an understanding of 'Math'!
For those who read my blog, chime in!