Monday 29 October 2012

Major Benefits Provided by Enterprise Data Warehousing

Enterprise data warehousing is a topic rarely discussed in non-specialized mass media simply because the subject is not very attractive to inexperienced writers, not because the very method to store, process, and analyze data is not business-critical to a great number of enterprises worldwide. As its name suggests, data warehousing deals with enterprise databases that are used primarily to store essential business data and generate reliable reports based on these data. As a rule, most enterprise data warehouses use a software architecture layer where information is transformed into data that can be further processed to produce comprehensive reports provided to managerial staff within an organization.

The most obvious benefit of enterprise data warehousing is that data is cataloged and cleaned to to create a uniform database where business information is stored and retrieved when a report is generated. Creation of metadata provides great advantages when the matter in question is to make compatible different databases, for example following a corporate merger. In addition to metadata creation, enterprise data warehousing functionality includes methods to maintain data history, which is a crucial functionality since a good number of source transaction systems do not support such functionality.
Software developers and software vendors often take advantage of data warehouses, incorporating the above functionality into operational business applications to increase their added value. Those business applications may include customer relationship management (CRM) systems, while enterprise data warehousing is widely used in enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems used across a variety of industries. Business software applications that deal with databases usually require consistent codes to be assigned to every piece of information, which is made through migration to an enterprise data warehouse.

In the long-term, all and every functionality listed above adds to the benefits provided by data warehouses used in business by presenting the information belonging to an organization in a consistent fashion. Many industries, both manufacturing businesses and financial institutions, cannot operate smoothly without such databases and an extremely reliable method to process the information contained in these data warehouses. The same applies to a single common data model required by large businesses and government agencies across the world, while data warehousing as a method is able to provide the required functionality to all interested parties.

Another advantage, often underestimated, is that data warehouses are the main tool used to restructure information stored by organizations into data that can be easily read and understood by users. That said, data warehousing is really business-critical when under scrutiny is the ability of a business application  to present data in a way that makes sense to users, both novice and experienced customers. Data restructuring requires serious software development efforts to provide reliable results and secure the flawless operation of the respective business software system, thus those systems can be a costly investment, which, of course, depends on the size of the business and the complexity of the databases to be covered by the software.

Last but not least, data restructuring methods applied in enterprise data warehousing give a marked boost to query performance when analytic queries are performed, this is a common operation that sometimes causes corporate servers to go down. Those computer crashes often occur at operating system level, while data warehouses are designed to reduce operating system load usually experienced when computers process large volumes of database data. Therefore, enterprise data warehousing is undoubtedly a major factor in securing a business system's uninterrupted operation while the data warehouse itself deals with the zillions of bits of information a large organization usually stores on its servers, thus providing marked benefits to both businesses and their respective customers.


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