Why Your Company Needs a Data Warehouse
Let’s start off by defining Data Warehouse. A data warehouse is a central repository of information that can be analyzed to make better-informed decisions. It can also be further defined as a repository that stores large amounts of data that has been collected and integrated from multiple sources – such as a CRM, payroll or accounting software, or inventory and sales systems.
“Why do we need a data warehouse that is separate from our business transactional systems?” This is a question that we get asked frequently at CopperHill Consulting. We answer this with several statements:
- Business transactional systems are built for tasks and very specific work flows.
- Business transactional systems allows editing, while a data warehouse is read-only.
- Business transactional systems should only hold current data. A data warehouse can hold historical and current data.
If you want to move forward with your BI strategy, you need a data warehouse.
The data warehouse is a core component of Business Intelligence. Here’s how a data warehouse makes an impact:
- Maintains a copy of data from your transactional systems. This allows you to keep your transactional systems lean and processing quickly with only the most recent and relevant data visible. It also lets you keep a history of all past transactions for recordkeeping and analysis.
- Improves the quality of the data. Identify duplicate entries and records. Find anomalies in your data. Build custom views. These are all ways that a data warehouse can help improve the quality of your data both in your transactional systems and in your reporting.
- Restructures information for different users. Create different user roles to restrict permissions and set different views to make it easier for users to understand the story their data is telling them.
- Integrates data from multiple transactional systems. This lets you see a bigger and clearer picture of your business across all departments and silos.
- Delivers excellent query performance without compromising business transactional systems. No need to worry about your systems slowing down, timing out, or crashing.
Your data warehouse will change and evolve as your business gets larger and greater over time. As your company grows, your requirements shift. Your data warehouse needs to be designed to be flexible and scalable so it can handle changing requirements. Automated integration solutions to move company data from your business transactional systems and flat files to the data warehouse is one way you can make sure your data warehouse can grow with your company. Automations keep costs low as well as lower the chance of errors.
How should you get started?
Building a data warehouse is not an easy project. Take considerable time in the planning stages to really understand your business’ practices and transactional systems. Cooperation between the business and IT teams is essential for the project’s success and the ongoing growth and maintenance of the data warehouse. You can also read more about our data warehouse and BI solution: CopperHill AIR.