Behind the Scenes
Making the Analyst work as a DW interface is easy to setup and for the Data Steward to use. As long as you don’t need anything fancy, all you need is a table with auto-incremental surrogate primary key, and a view that hides all the columns the user need not see (the PK comes to mind, but there are usually one or two others).
As you can see in the pictures, I set up a target by quarter table (surrogated) and exposed it to the user with a view. They are given the chance to set the starting quarter for a given target, and what the target is for (although in practice I broke it down into three actual views, one per type). Total time to set up: less than an hour.
If, on the other hand, you need to do something more complicated that is also possible, although beware that the development time will increase substantially. For example, I did not just need the starting quarter, but the end quarter as well. This is done on the fly with a rather clever view. For even more complex situation, triggers can be employed. Now, since you will be operating primarily through views, you will need to familiarize yourself with the Instead Of formulation, which overrides the insert/update for a PL/SQL block. It is not for the faint of heart, but once you have completed the development, it works quite nicely.
On the Informatica side, things are even simpler: all you need is to create a Reference Table in Analyst with the following properties: Connected, Unmanaged, Editable relational table (see left picture). Place the reference table in a folder named appropriately, and grant read/write access to a “Data Steward” user group (in practice, I have many such groups, one by functional area, for ease of assignation). The group, as you can see to the right, only needs one permission: the Edit Reference Table Data access. This is sufficient for them to be able to log on, see and edit the reference tables. Any users that need access should be assigned to the appropriate group(s), which is a matter of a few minutes in each environment.