By Susan Andre, MD of Alicornio Africa
The phrase 'data warehousing' might sound intimidating and complicated but Susan Andre explains this concept and makes it easy to understand while describing how it can be used to benefit your business.
Why a Data Warehouse:
To enable Business Users to answer their business questions faster, easier and accurately in order to improve business decisions based on information.
What is a Data Warehouse?
It is a consolidated, integrated and central point of information. Usually it consists of data that is integrated, cleaned, de-duplicated and structured in such a way that makes it easier for people to access it.
How to approach a data warehouse project:
A data warehouse project must be driven by business needs. Requirements of the business should be clearly defined. The data warehouse should be modelled according to business processes which are prioritized based on short, medium and long terms goals of an organization.
A data warehouse integrates data from multiple operational systems. For example, the Home Loan system and the Vehicle Load system may have different ways of identifying a customer and products while the data warehouse offers integrated views of both.
Benefits of a Data Warehouse:
The DW helps business decision makers to make more accurate decisions in a shorter period of time, by providing easier access to timeous information. Ultimately to grow business by improving the way they find opportunities, reduce cost and to assist in running a business more effectively.
How to build a Data Warehouse:
In a nutshell: Collect, understand and define the business requirements, obtain funding for the project, find the right staff, prioritize business requirements, identify business processes, distill into facts and dimensions, find the conformed dimensions, determine the lowest level of detail to be stored, design the model, develop ETL processes accordingly, deploy first increment. Repeat the process for each increment. This is a simplified version of a potentially challenging project.
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