What is a Data Warehouse?
A data warehouse is a central repository of information that can be analyzed to make better informed decisions. Data flows into a data warehouse from transactional systems, relational databases, and other sources, typically on a regular cadence. Business analysts, data scientists, and decision makers access the data through business intelligence (BI) tools, SQL clients, and other analytics applications.
Data and analytics have become indispensable to businesses to stay competitive. Businesses use reports, dashboards, and analytics tools to extract insights from their data, monitor business performance, and support decision making. These reports, dashboards and analytics tools are powered by data warehouses, which store data efficiently to minimize I/O and deliver query results at blazing speeds to hundreds and thousands of users concurrently.
Data Warehouse Architecture
A data warehouse architecture consists of three tiers. The bottom tier of the architecture is the database server, where data is loaded and stored. The middle tier consists of the analytics engine that is used to access and analyze the data. The top tier is the front-end client that presents results through reporting, analysis, and data mining tools.
How Does a Data Warehouse Work?
A data warehouse works by organizing data into a schema that describes the layout and type of data, such as integer, data field, or string. When data is ingested, it is stored in various tables described by the schema. Query tools use the schema to determine which data tables to access and analyze.
Data Warehouse Benefits
Better decision making
Consolidates data from many sources
Data quality, consistency, and accuracy
Separates analytics processing from transactional databases, improving performance of both systems
Enterprise Data Warehousing