Know About Data Warehouse Consulting Before You Hire Someone
Since we have moved to a data-driven world, businesses today seek more sophisticated and integrated systems that can help make data migration and other related processes easier. This is where the concept of data warehousing comes in.
Data has become a valued asset today. It not only offers great insight into a particular business but also helps uncover potential pathways that could lead to remarkable growth and profits. However, not knowing about data warehousing puts several businesses at a disadvantage. Therefore, before you opt for data warehouse consulting, doing your homework will not be a bad idea.
What is a Data Warehouse?
A data warehouse is not a physical warehouse but the term is used to refer to a large storage of data that is accumulated from different sources within a company, and helps guide management decisions. It is a federated repository that collects all data from the various operational systems of an enterprise, whether it is logical or physical. It emphasizes on capturing data from diverse sources to make it accessible enterprise wide, and allow analysis rather than using it for processing of transactions.
A data warehouse is referred to as a relational database (a central database that receives inputs from all other databases) that is housed on the enterprise mainframe server, or on the cloud, as we progress to a more sophisticated and accessible era. There are three key components of a data warehouse:
- Data Sources – Financial applications, Excel Sheets, ERPs, CRMs etc.
- Data Staging Area – Data is cleansed and ordered
- Presentation Area – Data is stored
How is it different from a Database?
A database is different from a data warehouse in the sense that it contains information that is organized in rows, columns and tables. It is also periodically indexed to make relevant information more accessible from time to time. Most organizations today design, develop and manage their own databases using database management systems (DBMS). Specialized DBMS are used to create and store data for fast access, customer name and product purchased for example.
Organizations use a database for Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) more commonly than to access it for analysis. Since fast querying is needed in day-to-day business transactions, databases are referred to as operational systems that make day-to-day transaction processing easier. Databases also ensure ACID compliance (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation and Durability) and that the transactions taking place are complete.
Although both, a database and a data warehouse are relational databases, their purposes are different. A data warehouse’s primary purpose is to store historical data in large quantities and enable access to complex queries quickly, using Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) while a database is only used for quick, day-to-day transactional processing.
Entering Into the World of Business Intelligence
Since business intelligence (BI) has gained momentum over the years, you are better off embracing the change before it is too late. For data warehouse consulting to work in your favor, you need to have a business intelligence application in place. If you go through tech gossip, you must be aware of how important business intelligence has become. It turns the massive amount of data into a format that is easy to read and understand, current and improves decision making. It also helps you analyze the on-going trends, and alert you of opportunities and any problems that you may face along the way.
How does data warehousing and BI work together?
Once you have a data warehouse in place, you know that your data is secure place and can be accessed for analysis and insights at any time. Combining it with a BI solution can deliver you multiple benefits. It can help you:
- With ad-hoc reports and analysis – With BI, you can analyze data faster and generate reports in minutes.
- With end user reports creation – BI has made it much easier to extract information and prepare reports, increasing consistency and accuracy, while also reducing costs.
- With drill-down capabilities – Users can drill down into details in dashboards and reports. It helps them find underlying problems and rectify them.
- By providing support for regulations – Data warehousing helps store your data as long as required, making it easier to comply with the more difficult laws and regulations.
- Create dynamic presentations through dashboards – Managers can access an interactive display of critical management data. The dashboards allow you to view sophisticated and graphical forms of presentation.
- With Meta data creation – Descriptions of data can be stored in data warehouses to make it easier for users to look for their relevant files and make reports easily.
- With Data Mining – Data mining tools can help you find hidden patterns in your data warehouse using automatic methods, telling you about your location when it comes to reporting.
- With Data Security – Data warehousing makes it easier to get into your system securely and access data that you may need, without opening an access pathway for others.
- Support your operational processes – It helps support business needs by performing various functions like consolidating financial statements, making it easier to extract different forms of reports that are useful for different departments etc.
- With analytical tool support – All professional analytical tools like Tableau and Informatica that help slice business data to create dashboards and reports work well with a data warehouse. They make it easier to extract, transform and load data.
Have you decided why do you need to hire a data warehouse consultant?
As this is a consultancy-driven era, there is no doubt that your current staff is capable of performing their duties with data warehouse technology, however what cannot do is the work that requires experience and expertise and will provide you the real value of opting for a data warehouse. Data warehouse consulting can help you find key areas of business that need integration, and make the flow of data as smooth as possible, making your organization more efficient in its operations, while reducing costs.
ExistBI is the leader in data technology training and data warehouse consulting. Our years of market credibility and experience, demonstrated through certified specialists and corporate professionals is highlighted in every training module, BI project, data warehousing architecture and design, consultations and enterprise reporting session. Our mission is to unite the world of business and IT to improve business efficiency and market position. Visit our YouTube channel, “ExistBI – Uniting Business and Technology” for videos. Here is the link:
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