We’re all familiar with large corporations needing to warehouse their products after manufacturing, but what about storing their data for the long term? Like tangible products, a company’s data must be well-organized for quick assessment when making important decisions. But what is data warehousing, and how should it be set up to be as efficient as possible? In this article, Hiruy Amanuel details why data warehousing is something valuable for businesses to understand clearly.
What Is Data Warehousing?
Data warehousing is just what it sounds like — a way to store and organize massive amounts of data from various sources. Some of these sources are internal, such as operating systems, while others are external sources that don’t change as frequently, but your business needs easy access to them. In a data warehouse, information can be populated by loading, extraction, transformation, or commonly a combination of all three.
A lot of people confuse data warehousing with data mining, which is understandable. However, they are two different things, even if they are connected. Data warehousing is the act of actually storing and organizing large amounts of information, while data mining is extracting specific information from within the warehouse. Data mining becomes difficult or even impossible if there is no data warehouse or the data is poorly designed.
Why Is it Important?
A data warehousing system helps a business support end-user information needs and business objectives when set up correctly. This individual, comprehensive data source contains everything recent and from the past that a company may need to access and analyze.
Having a team that can manage and interpret such large amounts of data can help your business in multiple ways, from development and marketing to production times and forecasting. Also, by making data-driven decisions for your company, you’re ensuring you consider all aspects of the process, and emotions or intuition aren’t the only things running the show.
Data warehousing can be a significant upfront investment for a company. Still, it can help them save money and find other potential income sources, making it a sound financial decision for a business in the long term.
How Should It Be Setup?
Data warehousing can take on different forms depending on a business’s needs, but a few main design aspects are crucial to its usability. For starters, you must organize the data in a way that makes it quick to access and easy to analyze. For most businesses, using dimensional modeling works well for these purposes. It allows for quick and straightforward viewing of large amounts of information, particularly data that doesn’t change often.
It’s also essential to have a system that is well-defined and timestamped. These features allow for greater integration, consistency, and accuracy throughout the warehouse. Of course, your end-users also need to understand the system and how it works, so ensure it is a team effort where everyone has a say in it and is well-trained in how it works.
About Hiruy Amanuel
Hiruy Amanuel has invested in numerous educational and technological initiatives in East Africa. He is an expert on technology and a devoted philanthropist. He believes that there will be rapid development of groundbreaking technologies throughout the Horn of Africa as access to quality education and technology increases.