Currently, small and medium-sized businesses have started embracing the utilization of Big Data. Data warehouses have given organizations a window into their historical performance and data analysis so as to get more information about customer behavior and business trends on quarterly and annual analysis. The need to capture and analyze data has helped expand the growth of the data warehouse industry. However, it's important to analyze your need for a data warehouse platform and determine its benefits before you decide on whether you intend to invest in it or not.
Investing in a data warehouse platform depends on your organization's specific needs. A warehouse platform deployment option can either be a departmental or an enterprise-wide platform. For your big data analytics, you should also decide whether you'll integrate the traditional data warehousing with online analytical processing (OLAP) uses. It's important to a match the usage of data warehousing with the most appropriate data warehouse mediums.
Why your organization or business requires data warehousing
The general reason why your organization will need data warehousing is that it extracts data on a continuous process that is later copied to a specialized system like a data warehouse for analysis on dashboards, business intelligence tools, and portals. Here are some of the indications that your organization may need a data warehouse:
Your organization fails to report activities appropriately because the data is not readily available.
The organization's data from different departments is copied separately and analyzed on different spreadsheets.
Managers and executives in the company keep complaining about the veracity of reports.
BI reporting against production of databases causes long delays.
Operational systems are always delayed due to running of ad hoc queries.
A credible data warehousing platform can help you answer various business questions including but not limited to what and why. Data warehousing can help the business quickly collect data from dissimilar sources or locations into a central repository. The analytical activity of the data collected is basically moved to a different system once the data is in the warehouse instead of just being in various departmental databases. In other words, the data is evaluated, cleansed, and transformed efficiently when it's processed within the data warehouse. The quality of the information on the generated reports will be higher.
Data warehouse deployment solutions
Different organizations can adopt different data warehousing options such as enterprise data warehouse or a data mart or even a combination of the two options. An enterprise data warehouse can be used across all departments because it contains all the pertinent data for your company's operational systems and probably some other external sources. The data is also manipulated for query purposes aggregating it for BI gathering.
Some companies have gone an extra step to implement an operational data store to act as a step between the operational systems and the data warehouse. In such situations, the data is copied to the operational data store and extracted for utilization in the data warehouse. This will enable your organization to get the most out of data warehousing because the operational data store will offer one source for pre-transformed data that is readily available for analysis.
Another possible approach that your organization can adopt is to create data marts that are smaller data warehouses, which are focusing on specific subjects and individual businesses. Your organization should consider this option when there is a need in certain departments to improve reporting and BI so as to boost ROI. Data marts can be applicable when you determine that your organization doesn't require an overall data warehouse solution that encompasses the entire organization.