The Benefits of deploying a Data Warehouse Platform
Data warehousing has been an important part of the data architecture and IT infrastructure of many organizations for almost 30 years. But despite its heritage, confusion has besieged the data warehouse in recent years.
With the advent of data lakes, big data and advanced analytics, some within the IT industry have questioned whether the data warehouse is still relevant. The short answer is: absolutely. The longer answer is addressed in this four-part series, which details what you need to know before buying a data warehouse platform.
Despite all the hype surrounding big data and analytics, companies in all industries and of all but the smallest size are using data warehouses to deliver actionable BI that executives and managers can use to make important decisions. Data warehouse platforms provide business people with a window into their organization's historical activities -- both successes and failures. While big data and analytics do have their place, data warehousing stands out as a practical, proven practice for analyzing structured business data in order to support data-driven decision making.
What is a data warehouse platform?
A data warehouse is best defined by the type of data it stores, and the people who use it. Designed for decision support and BI activities, the data warehouse is separated from the day-to-day online transaction processing (OLTP) applications that drive the core business, thereby reducing contention for both operational transactions and analytical queries.
A data warehouse is typically read-only, with the data organized according to business requirements, rather than by computer processes. The data warehouse classifies information by subjects of interest to business analysts and managers -- for example, customers, products and accounts. The data is inserted (or loaded) into the warehouse, then made available for querying by business users.
The information stored in a data warehouse is historical, spanning transactions that have occurred over time. For this reason, warehoused data is often summarized or aggregated to make it easier to scan, access and query. Redundant data is often included in a data warehouse in order to provide users with multiple views of information that present it in logical, easily understood groupings.
Data warehouses contain information that has been culled from operational systems, as well as possibly external data such as third-party point-of-sale information. Data in the data warehouse is consolidated and stored in a consistent form for the enterpri...