Beginner's guide to a data warehouse

Eric Giroux
Founder
November 10, 2020

Gone are the days of Excel spreadsheets.

What is a data warehouse?

A data warehouse is a large store of data from many sources within a business;  and typically, this data is obtained from day-to-day transactions within the organisation.  The warehouse transforms this mass of data into a single and organised system that is easy to analyse.

But isn’t that just like a database?

No, it is not to be confused with a database. A database is the raw data a company has acquired and a data warehouse is a type of database specifically designed for analysis. Therefore, a data warehouse is not simply a store of information but a system designed to summarise and analyse data in a format that guarantees insightful business decisions.

Why is a data warehouse necessary for your business?

Many businesses, your competitors included, use data warehouses to primarily organise mass data generated by their departments. Moreover, this accessible format permits the business to easily read data and summarize large quantities of information that would otherwise be misinterpreted or overlooked.  Simply this warehouse allows you to analyse your data quickly and pick up on any weaknesses and highlight successes in a format that is easily accessible.

What are the qualities of a good data warehouse?

  • Volume – it should contain a large quantity of data
  • Velocity – new data should be organised and optimised quickly
  • Variety – it should contain data from various different sources
  • Veracity – it should contain data that is solely accurate and ‘clean’
  • Value – the data should be trusted upon to make decisions

How can it help my business?

S – Stable

Data warehouses will produce data that is consistent and of high quality. Standardized data consequently ensures your business will be filled with confidence at the level of accuracy of the data.

A – Accessible

Access to such accurate data permits your business to make active and better business decisions. A data warehouse contains credible statistics that permit your business to retrieve the data it needs and furthermore assist in making strategic decisions.

F – Fast

With a DW in place your precious time is saved because there is no need to spend hours retrieving data from various sources and all the information you require is at your fingertips.

E – Easy

The data warehouse format rids the need for laborious excel spreadsheets and allows you to make accurate business decisions without the support of your IT department

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