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1. Take some time to understand customer requirements and the data available from your data sources. It can be risky not giving it the right importance, this will save you of unnecessary rework.
Try to get Data Models from external data sources
2. Do a quick st art with Live Data reports and then go to data warehouse reporting. 3. Test, test, test.
Working with a lot of data and calculations may be tricky and some mistakes may happen at some point in the report development process (ETL, metadata, report creation). It's very important that you spend some time testing the source data, the ETL jobs and the reports you create before publishing them.
4. Understanding dimensional modeling concepts is very useful when customizing Rational Insight ETL Jobs and data model. It will help you with some basic tasks and avoid unnecessary changes in your model. There are some good books on this subject.
Databases skills makes the difference here to do query performance analysis, index creation, etc.
Some reports may not be need to run against the database every time the user access them, generally because their data is update weekly or daily. In those cases, for performance reasons, it may be better to use a static version of the report weekly or daily updated.