What is Data Warehousing and why do you need it? 

Published: 7 September 2022

Data warehousing is the bringing together of data from disparate sources into a central cloud-based location which is designed to store, integrate and analyse large amounts of new and historical data (Microsoft).  

The data moved into Data Warehouses typically contains business information and comes from operational departments or systems like marketing and sales, or finance and production. Held in a structured format, like excel spreadsheets, or semi-structured, like XML files or webpages, it would be used for reporting and analysis.  

Data Warehouses can store vast amounts of information. This is ideal for integrating with business intelligence, data visualisation and data querying solutions.  

4 signs your business might benefit from a data warehousing solution 

  • You are using several sources of data from several departments e.g., if finance is using spreadsheets and sales are using CRM then you could benefit from a single source of data. This data will be consistent and relevant and crucially, the same for everyone and up to date. 
  • Your hours are spent manually inputting data from several systems to produce reports.
  • You’re using historical data to make future predictions or to spot consumer trends.
  • To present your management reports, you’re using multiple spreadsheets or reports.
     

Benefits of a Data Warehouse 

Enhances the quality of data  

Having one central data repository means data from all sources can be converted into one consistent format. This also means that data from different departments is uniform, and each department produces results in line with the other. Uniformity makes it easier for your analytics tool to produce quality accurate reports. 

Time-saving for everyone 

The central data repository, accessible to everyone who needs it, saves time and boosts efficiency. Not spending time searching different sources for data you need allows you to make decisions quickly. It also means that you don’t have to go to IT to find the information you want, allowing them to focus on their own work. 

Better decision making 

As all the data you need is on hand from various sources and is standardised, your BI tool can generate insight into everything you need from marketing to finance. This means you have all the information you need to make informed decisions quickly.  

Conclusion 

As with most things in business and life, there are pros and cons to everything. Data warehousing is no exception. What you must do is decide whether or not the benefits outweigh any drawbacks. Benefits can lead to improved business through analysis of new and old data. This leads to faster and better-informed decision making. If you feel you could benefit from a data warehousing solution, feel free to contact us to talk about your options.  

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