Every company needs to store data. But, using that data is not always so simple. Using a data warehouse allows businesses to use the data that is stored in their databases. Do you need a data warehouse? If you are not sure, try answering these two questions:
- Is there one central source for all information at your company?
- Is data automatically integrated across all connected platforms?
If you answered “no” to either of these questions, there may be more you can do with your data.
Limits of a Database
The focus of a database is to quickly enter and read data. It’s transactional. Databases are used to store data like sales dates, total sales in a month, and maybe sales by product or by time. As more of this data is stored, it will take more and more human effort to create readable reports. A data warehouse, on the other hand, is multi-dimensional. You can still utilize the transactional capabilities of a database, but data warehouses include analysis features that databases can’t match. For example, a data warehouse can quickly query historical data – much faster than a straight database. Data warehouses can also categorize data into functional groups of dimensions and facts. These are called “de-normalized,” because they are built to enable users to analyze data as easily as possible. Databases are “normalized,” meaning they don’t have duplicate records, for reading and data entry. This is great for transactional efficiency, but not for analysis when you need to get the information you want. When database data is not interconnected like a data warehouse, time-consuming processes like importing, integrating, processing, and exporting become commonplace. This process creates more work and less consistency between reports produced by different people.
One Source For Your Data
A data warehouse allows users to retrieve shared data with one click using a BI tool and reports can be made very easily using self-service tools. This is the power of interconnected data through a data warehouse, which allows for editing and data reporting as a single source of truth. This source of truth is consistent every time, because it is based off pre-established calculations that do not change. This type of consistent communication is critically important for quick and accurate data sharing and decision making at any company.
Integrate Data with Ease
Data warehousing is the solution to maintain data integrity. Data warehousing is the integration of multiple sources of system data into a single location. There are alternatives to data warehousing, like storing spreadsheets on a network drive for employees to share files or hire more dedicated IT professionals to gather and join database information for reporting and sharing. However, spreadsheet proliferations can quickly get out of hand and depending on IT reports can become a frustrating bottleneck.
At Affirma, our business intelligence experts are happy to suggest recommendations and help you develop and implement a data reporting environment. If you feel you have a reporting problem, we will be happy to consult with you. We can perform an assessment and suggest the most efficient solution to your problems. Contact us for a free consultation today!