What is a Data Warehouse?
If you want your business to be as successful as possible, you need to incorporate data analysis into your marketing and product design efforts. If you're going to incorporate data analysis into these efforts, you're going to need to make use of a data warehouse.
What is a data warehouse, you ask? We're going to discuss that below, helping you understand the ins and outs of business intelligence (BI). Let's get started!
What Is a Data Warehouse?
A data warehouse is a large data management system used for the analysis of business data. Data warehouses draw from several sources and generally hold historical data pertaining to a company's sales, marketing efforts, and the like.
The point of a data warehouse is to centralize data so that it can be easily queried and analyzed. By simplifying the querying and analysis processes, data warehouses allow businesses to make rapid and highly informed decisions about all types of situations.
There is a bevy of entities contained within a data warehouse framework. The most prominent of these include the following:
The key to any data warehouse is the relational database. This is a database that's capable of recognizing relationships between different pieces of inputted data. This enables it to pull together data that fit in specific categories and therefore narrow down options for quick and easy analysis.
Visual Analysis Tools
Not only does a data warehouse contain a relational database but visual analysis tools as well. These are tools that the user can utilize as a means of visualizing analyzed data. They allow you to make charts, graphs, and other visualizations, thereby allowing you to display data in an easy-to-digest manner.
Another feature included in data warehousing and applications is an ELT. This stands for "extraction, loading, and transformation," and it refers to a tool that loads data and then is used to clean it up and manage it. It streamlines the processing of data, allowing it to be used more quickly than it would otherwise.
Statistical Analysis Tools
There are generally statistical analysis tools included in data warehouses as well. These enable you to perform complex analyses on all types of information. These analyses can then be used to inform important decisions pertaining to your business.
Some data warehouses even provide additional features, such as spatial analysis tools and artificial intelligence. Depending on what your business does, these could be beneficial to you as well.
The Components of a Data Warehouse
Data warehouses consist of several different components, including a data repository, a staging area, hub and spoke connections, and sandboxes. These components, when put together, enable you to process and analyze data seamlessly.
The data repository collects all of the raw inputted data. On one side, it's connected to several data sources. On the other side, it's connected to analysis tools.
The staging area is where data is processed. This is where the data is transmitted to a single format. In some cases, it's done manually while in other cases, it's automated.
The hub and spoke connections enable you to make various different kinds of analyses at one time. This way, they can be easily drawn from as needed.
And finally, there's the sandbox. This is essentially an informal digital environment in which you can experiment with data. It allows users to play with data without any of the regulations instilled by the data warehouse.
Benefits from Datawarehousing and Business Intelligence
There are endless benefits to gain from data warehouse applications. Some of the most prominent of these benefits include:
Provides Easy Integration
Perhaps the biggest strength of data warehouses is that they allow for the simple integration of data. They enable you to draw data from a variety of sources and then format it so that it can be used in one analysis.
This is hugely beneficial, as you're bound to retrieve data in a number of different formats. Being able to easily integrate into one format saves you substantial amounts of time and money. It also enables you to analyze new data at a moment's notice.
Allows for Analysis Over Time
Another big benefit of business intelligence software is that it allows for analysis over time. See, once data has been inputted into the warehouse, it is archived and available to use for analysis at a later date.
As such, you can start a new analysis at essentially any time. It will require very little work on your end and will enable you to seamlessly monitor trends over the span of weeks, months, and years.
Locks Data In Place
Once you've entered new data into a data warehouse, and once you've established its proper format, it will remain as it is in perpetuity. In other words, you won't have to worry about it disappearing or changing format unexpectedly.
This gives you a reliable database from which you can draw whenever necessary. The more reliable your database, the easier it will be for you to facilitate analysis.
Facilitates Varied Analyses
Because data warehouses can draw from so many different data sources, and because they can store so much data, they facilitate extremely varied analyses.
For instance, theoretically, you could analyze the number of purchases made in Toledo, Ohio, by women between the ages of 20 and 30 in the month of July 2022. That's just an example, but it highlights the variation of what data warehouses allow you to work with.
Looking to Enhance Your Business Intelligence (BI)?
As you can see, data warehouses can have a seismic positive impact on their respective companies, helping to enhance business intelligence (BI) and therefore turn more sales.
Are you looking to enhance the business intelligence of your company? If so, we here at Nortb are the people to see. We'll build a digital infrastructure for your company that allows for maximum data analysis, helping you make important decisions in a swift and informed manner.
Contact us now to discuss your needs!