While BI is the visible part of corporate data systems, data warehousing is like the “back room” where much hidden, but very important work is done.
Data warehousing is the process of storing and staging information, separate from an enterprise’s day-to-day transaction processing operations, and optimizing it for access and analysis in an enterprise. In this process, data flows from data producers to the data warehouse, where it is transformed into information for business consumers. It encompasses all the data transformations, cleansing, filtering and aggregations necessary to provide an enterprise-wide view of the data.
Sometimes, it is possible to skip the data warehouse and perform a limited amount of BI on operational systems. But operational BI does not make the data warehouse obsolete. In fact, there have been numerous times when vendors proclaim that data warehousing is no longer needed. Over the years, we’ve heard them talking about middleware, virtual data warehouses, conformed data marts, Enterprise Information Integration (EII), Enterprise Application Integration (EAI), service oriented architectures (SOA), data virtualization and real-time access from every generation of BI tools.
There is no “silver bullet” that helps an enterprise avoid the hard work of data integration. Information that is clean, comprehensive, consistent, conformed and current is not a happenstance; it requires thought and work.
How we've helped others with their data warehousing needs:
- Replaced a legacy reporting solution for a large technology company, creating a DW/BI solution with an enterprise data warehouse and data marts that generated over 7,000 reports per year for their marketing and finance groups as well as the supply chain.
- Designed an enterprise data warehouse for a consumer product goods company that needed to integrate data from various internal and external data sources. Additionally, created a BI solution to support the sales and marketing groups.
Our insights on data warehousing:
- Whitepaper: A Case for Assessing Your Enterprise Data Warehousing (EDW) Readiness
- Whitepaper: Ten Principles for Increasing the Business Value of Your Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence Investments
- Operational BI – Four Flawed Assumptions
- Beyond ETL and Data Warehousing
- Back to the Basics of Data Warehousing
- Data Warehouse Architecture - Too Narrowly Focused
- New Age Data Warehousing