Data warehouses are widely used in most of the largest and complex businesses or companies around the world. They are really not efficient or of much use to moderately large or small organizations. Data warehouses are invaluable to a company because good decision-making is the cornerstone of any business. The best decisions are made when all the relevant data available and taken into consideration. The best possible source for this type of data is a data warehouse. It is relatively simple, data is extracted periodically from the applications that support business processes and copied onto special dedicated computers. From there it can be manipulated and supplemented with data from other sources. The result is a warehouse of information that can be used as the main source of information for reports, analysis, and strategizing.
These data warehouses can help a company to grow and capitalize on certain business trends. The intelligence gained from a data warehouse can quickly answer questions like, what still works? What continues to sell? How can cash be conserved? What costs can be cut without causing long term harm? So, data warehouses can provide us with the ability to answer these critical questions by turning the massive amounts of data into a form that is current and easy to understand. As a result we can analyze current and long term trends, by instantly alerting opportunities and problems, and by getting continuous feedback on the effectiveness of our decisions.
DSSResources.com is a knowledge repository about computerized systems that support decision making and its editor Dan Power says there are three major advantages from developing a data warehouse. These advantages include integrating data from multiple sources, performing new types of analyses, and reducing cost to access historical data (Power, 2008). These advantages leverage cost and can help a company to save money.
More specifically other advantages include Enhanced Intelligence primarily through improved information access. Decisions no longer have to be made based on limited data and just on what executives feel is right. Decisions that affect the company can be made based on credible facts that are backed up with evidence and actual data. The intelligence gained can be applied directly to business processes including marketing, inventory management, financial management, and sales.
Another benefit is increased query performance. Data warehouses are designed and constructed with a focus on speed of data retrieval and analysis. They are designed for storing large volumes of data and being able to rapidly query that same data. A data warehouse is built for analysis and the retrieval of data rather than just efficiently maintaining records. Similarly, timely access to data is an advantage that enables users and decision makers to have access to data from many different sources. This allows users to spend a minimal amount of time in the data retrieval process. Scheduled data integration actions are processed in the data warehouse environment. These actions consolidate data from multiple sources and transform that data into a useful form. Consumers can then easily access data from one interface and can also query data directly with less support. These consumers of the data can then spend more time performing data analysis and less time