What Is a Data Warehouse?

Ever wondered how Amazon can so quickly deliver that Thing You Need, whatever said thing is? If you’ve driven past one of their warehouses, you’ve probably worked out the answer. Keeping so much stock in a central location makes all those things much simpler to manage.

A data warehouse doesn’t take up physical space – it’s hosted on the cloud, after all – but it works on a similar principle by serving as a single, central location for all your organization’s data. It serves as a repository where all your data is sent from your company’s tech to be backed up, as well as collection points like contact form submissions.

In other words, a data warehouse organizes all the information you need in one convenient place, rather than leaving it scattered around various sources across your organization. But while the convenience factor is a huge benefit, that’s not the only advantage. Here are a few reasons you should consider utilizing a warehouse structure for your data.

How a Data Warehouse Improves the Accuracy of Your Reports

Data is not a static thing. New information is always coming in, often from many different sources. If you store your data across multiple spaces without one source of truth, it can easily fall out of sync. This can cause so many problems down the line. For example, if an update is not cascaded properly, you may end up with two different answers to the same data query (depending on the source you consult). A data warehouse eliminates this problem by creating a single place for your most updated data. When it’s time to run a report, or if any new questions arise, you’ll know exactly where to find what you need.

How a Data Warehouse Reduces the Pain of Mistakes

A data warehouse improves accuracy, sure, but people are only human: Every once in a while, they will make mistakes. Fortunately, fixing those mistakes is much easier when you have a data warehouse in place. Without one, you’re going to spend a lot of time tracking down all the potential entry points for bad data. Not to mention the problems bad data can cause if it’s not caught soon enough, which only further compounds the error.

By using a data warehouse as a central information repository, your data will be better organized and more secure. Mistakes will be easier to fix, and you’ll also have fewer problems like duplicate data. Data warehouses exist to make your work (and your life) easier.

How a Data Warehouse Enables Better Analysis

When your data is scattered across multiple sources, the process of running reports becomes time-consuming and tedious. It can even hinder your ability to integrate your data across applications, which is a vital component of analyzing and identifying long-term trends. With a true data warehouse, your data is integrated. You can see the whole picture of what’s happening in your organization. This enables you to do better analysis over greater periods of time to notice trends, inconsistencies, and opportunities. For long-term planning, these kinds of insights are vital. A data warehouse can leave you with specific, actionable goals to improve your organization in countless areas.

Your Organization, with More Data Independence

Working with the right data vendor is like having an ace up your sleeve. But when the complexity of your data means you’re working with multiple vendors, it can lead to a frustrating experience, and one in which your organization is overly reliant on external parties. A data warehouse allows you to keep more of your independence by reducing the number of vendors you need to manage your data. How? By simplifying and streamlining your data management. Your team will be empowered to do more with the data they have, even if they don’t have PhDs. A data warehouse can also give you more freedom to be selective when you do need a vendor to tackle a new challenge, so you can approach things with more confidence in your data from the start.

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