In the era of big data, businesses are finding novel ways to gain insights from large bodies of data. Data warehousing, which involves the storage of large amounts of data for data science applications, has become an important source of business insights for companies in the 21st century.
In 1965, Gordon Moore of computer chip maker Intel observed that the growth of computer processing speed occurs at an exponential rate. This highly accelerated rate brings down the cost of computers over time. Moore’s observation, now called Moore’s Law, still rings true today, and indeed, computer technology continues to become faster and faster, driving down costs while improving computer processing speeds -- making big data and data science applications less expensive with every passing day.
Correspondingly, computer information systems and storage technologies are also becoming more advanced. Companies can take advantage of these innovations and warehouse data for a variety of applications, such as data mining or data exploration, in order to seek out patterns of information that can help them refine their corporate decision-making strategies.
How can I create a data warehouse for my company?
Companies seeking to create a data warehouse must complete various steps. The first step is, of course, data collection. In this first step, data is gathered from many different sources. This is called data extraction.
After you have compiled the data, the data must be cleaned. This involves going through the data and looking for errors. The errors must be corrected, or the data must be excluded from analyses.
Once you have combed through the data for errors, you can prepare the data for warehouse storage. This involves converting the data from a database format to a warehouse format. Data that is stored in a warehouse undergoes a process to make it easier to use. Data kept in warehouses must be sorted, consolidated, and summarized, among other steps, so that the data remains conveniently accessible. Once you have established a data warehouse, you can add more data and include more data sources for improved analytic capacity.
The data stored in a data warehouse is static and cannot be altered once it enters the warehouse for storage. The analytics are meant to reveal new insights by looking at the data over time. Therefore, companies must seek to store warehoused data in a way that is easy to retrieve, manage, and has a high level of security and reliability.
How do companies use data warehousing?
Data warehousing makes it easier for companies to look for patterns in large amounts of data to reveal novel insights that can inform company operations. For example, a data warehouse could enable a company to readily assess marketing information from advertising such as Google ads to make decisions about how to drive user visits to their websites to improve sales. If the warehoused data reveals a pattern of repeat visits from advertisements on a particular website but not on another website, the business may seek to modify their internet ad strategies to maximize site visits while reducing advertising costs.
Another example of how data warehousing can be used by companies involves looking at customers’ history of spending over a long period of time – such as a decade or longer – to see what patterns emerge from this data. Historical transactional data from customers can reveal preferences such as the times of year – or even times of the day -- with greatest spending.
Why is Data Warehousing important for companies seeking to use data analytics to drive their business decisions?
Data warehousing can free up a company’s database resources to be used for transactional processes rather than analytic ones. Data warehouses enable companies to run analyses which integrate vast and different data sources. This central strategy to data can empower an organization to make larger organizational decisions in a more informed way. It can also enable the free flow of data for the purposes of advertising and marketing campaigns with a data driven, segmented approach.
The team at Cruz Street Digital is well equipped to help by providing a "CDO on Demand" or essentially a fractional executive service who's job is to audit data, technology, and people at your organization necessary to execute the strategy you want. Our team will help you both with a strategic road map and with data architecture, data acquisition, solution negotiation and more. Contact us today for an expert consultation!