IIBF CAIIB IT SYSTEMS AND DESIGN | DATA WAREHOUSING
Data warehousing is an important part of business intelligence. If you look at the broader side, it refers to the information infrastructure that today’s businesses use to track their successes and failures of the past so as to take future decisions based on them.
The process of building and using a data warehouse is known as data warehousing. It is built by linking or finding relations among the data from various heterogeneous sources which is capable to support analytical reporting, decision making, and ad-hoc queries. This process involves cleaning, integration & consolidation of data.
Data warehousing is this cure is the storage of information whose ultimate goal is to analyze historical data so as to bring forward useful information that can be helpful for the organization’s operations.
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FEATURES OF DATA WAREHOUSING
Underwritten some of the features of data warehousing:
- It is a storage system for information.
- It gets updated with new data periodically by people working in different departments such as marketing and sales
- It is basically a library that contains historical data which can be retrieved and analyzed to use in decision making.
- Herein, key factors can also be defined as critical for an effective data warehouse.
- It is designed in a way to retrieve data in real-time.
WORKING OF DATA WAREHOUSING
The business’s needs to store or warehouse the data has evolved as the reliance on computer systems increased to create, store and retrieve the data later on.
Although the concept ‘data warehousing’ was introduced in 1988 by the researchers of IBM named, Barry Devlin and Paul Murphy.
The concept has been designed to perform analysis on historical data available in storage. This analysis is done by comparing the data that has been consolidated for multiple heterogeneous sources to get insight into the company’s performance. It is so designed to allow the running of queries and do analysis on the historical data that has been derived from the transactional sources.
What should be noted is that the data that gets stored in the warehouse cannot be changed or altered? It is a source for the analytical devices on which analytics are run to predict any future changes.
USING DATA WAREHOUSE INFORMATION
Decision Support Technologies helps in utilizing the data stored in data warehouses by making them available for quick use and that too effectively. This technology is able to gather the data, perform analysis on it, in the resultant information can be used to make the decisions. Information stored in a warehouse can be utilized for any of the below mentioned domains:
- Tuning Strategies of Production−Through repositioning the products and managing the product portfolios by doing quarterly or yearly comparisons of sales, one can well tune the product strategies.
- Analysis of Customers−Through data warehousing one can also analyze their customers by analyzing their preferences, buying time as well as budget cycles, etc.
- Analysis of Operations− Data warehousing also enables managing the customer relations while making environmental connections which also allows us in analyzing business operations.
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DATA WAREHOUSE MAINTENANCE
There are many steps that are needed to be taken for the maintenance of the data warehouse. One of those steps is extraction i.e collecting a large amount of data from different sources. After one set of data is compiled, it has to go through a cleaning process i.e checking it for any errors and corrections.
After the data has been cleaned up, it is converted from the database format to a warehouse format. After it gets stored in the warehouse, the compiled data also has to go through the process of sorting, consolidation, and summarization so that it can be easily used. This dataset also gets updated over the period of time.
Today, there are many cloud-based Data warehouse software is also available from Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Oracle, etc.
The data is warehoused for the primary function of data mining. Data mining involves finding the patterns that can how improve the processes of business and it relies heavily on the data warehouse.
An efficient and good data warehousing system makes the access of data easier for different departments. To take an example, through data mining marketing team can access the sales data to help them make the decisions related to their sales campaigns.
Steps involved in Data Mining:
The process of data mining can be broken down into 5 steps:
- After the Collection of data, the organization loads it into the data warehouse.
- The data is stored and managed on the cloud or in-house servers.
- Data can be accessed by management teams, business analysts, and IT professionals, who can also organize the data.
- An application software sorts this data out.
- The data can be presented in an easy-to-show format for example graphs and tables.
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DATA WAREHOUSING VS. DATABASES
A data warehouse is not the same as a database. The difference between data warehouse and database. And it is also explained as below:
- Database: Transactional system which monitors and updates the data in real-time to make available the most recent data.
- Data warehouse: It is a storage system that is programmed to gather structured data over a period of time.
To differentiate between the two, we can take an example. A database might only have the recent address of a customer whereas else a data warehouse might contain all the addresses of the customer for the past 20 years.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF DATA WAREHOUSES
The main advantage of data warehousing is having a competitive edge. It creates or provides an information resource that can also be tracked analyzed to make informed decisions.
Even though there are advantages, it has some disadvantages because it can also dream the company’s sources and also can be done the company personal with routine tasks such as feeding the warehouse machine.
Maintenance of a data warehouse has been following potential disadvantages:
- The maintenance requires considerable time and effort which puts the burden on the organization.
- Because the data is input into the data warehouse by humans, there can be a gap in the information by human errors, which could also take years to be noticed. This damages the integrity and the information’s usefulness.
- Because there are multiple sources for the data which is input into the data warehouse, there can be many inconsistencies among them leading to information loss.
- The data warehouse requires heavy resources.
You can read the underneath advantages of maintaining a data warehouse:
- It provides fact-based analysis of the company’s historical performance which helps in making informed decisions.
- It keeps an archive of the relevant data.
- The data stored in the data warehouse can be shared across departments to get maximum utilization.
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Thus, the data warehouse is a company storage system where it safe keeps the business information. This data is created with the help of employee inputs from the key departments which are then utilized to analyze the company’s past success and failure and then to take future decisions.
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