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When to build the data warehouse: before or after designing application database?

When is the best time to design/build the data warehouse? We are currently designing an application database that is expected to become quite large and we are not positive about the report performance. Should we create the data warehouse now or when we start to see performance issues with the reports? Thanks for your help.

I encourage you to design for the data warehouse now. This will give you a head start on data warehouse data model and the data warehousing environment & architecture. There will always be some level of operational reporting that will be well served out of the application. There will also be a mounting/evolving set of information analysis and reporting requirements that will best supported from the data warehouse environment. I encourage this parallel design approach because it will help you to avoid building in "reporting oriented" database designs and programming logic into your application. Many times I see applications with summary tables and rolling summary tables and a lot of cpu cycles being chewed up processing and reprocessing the transaction details to produce those summaries and them report on those summaries. These are data warehousing activities.

Of course, budgets will be a consideration that will impact your approach.

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