Thesis statement: Data warehousing is critical in the socio-economic success of businesses in the world today by means of providing an important platform for both social and economic interactions that proceed with the greatest regard to competitiveness and relevance since markets continue to grow more unfavorable to irrelevant businesses. It plays a central role in ensuring the existence and competitiveness of an organization remains intact as efficiency and reliability of data processing are upheld. Organizations have to adopt data warehousing if at all they need to remain relevant in the current super competitive markets.
A data warehouse, also known as enterprise data warehouse refers to a database for analysis of data and reporting. Data is integrated from several different sources creating a central source of data. Due to their extensive use in the storage of both historical and current data, data warehouses are commonly used by senior management in developing trending reports such as quarterly and annual comparisons. Prior using data in the data warehouse for reporting, it is uploaded from the functioning systems such as sales and marketing. The data may also be passed through a functioning data store in order to have more operations added. Commonly, data warehouses are based on extract-transform-load use access layers, integration of data and staging to house its primary functions. The staging database houses raw data that has been extracted from various disparate sources. The integration layer functions by converting data obtained from the staging database. This is often stored in operational store database. From this point the data the alreadyintegrated data is moved to another database known as the data warehouse. Here data is organized into facts, dimensions and aggregate factswhich represent the various hierarchical groups. This combination of both dimensions and facts is referred to as star schema.The access layer simply allows users to access their stored data. A data warehouse built only from integrated data source systems does not need extra-transform-load, functional data store databases or even staging layers. It is considered as a part of a functional data store database that is distributed. Methods of federation or virtualization of data may be applied to gain access to these databasesto aggregate and consolidate data directly into the database tables, as well as, data warehouse. Additionally, the data warehouses and the integrated source systems of data have this one thing in common. Unlike data warehouses founded on the extract-transform-load, they are all co-joined owing to the fact that there is no conversion of either reference or dimensional data. This architecture has the advantage of supporting the change from transactional data from aggregate data of the integrated source systems of data.Another essential type of data warehouse is the data mart which is a data warehouse that primarily deals with the actual data storage. Data marts are commonly used in Data warehouses where they form the basic units into which data warehouses are subdivided to promote the ease of application and effective performance. On the other hand, an organization may prefer creating several data marts that form building blocks for a more complex and larger data warehouse. As this definition generally alludes to data storage, the main source of the data is usually transformed, cleaned and catalogued before being made available to business professionals such as the managerial for analytical processing done online, support of decision making, market research, as well as, data mining. A more elaborate definition of data warehousing comprises of extract-transform-load tools, retrieve and manage metadata tools and tools for business intelligence owing to their pivotal roles in data warehousing. Thus,data warehousing is critical in the socio-economic success of businesses in the world today by means of providing an important platform for both social and economic interactions that proceed with the greatest regard to competitiveness and relevance since markets continue to grow more unfavorable to irrelevant businesses. It plays a central role in ensuring the existence and competitiveness of an organization remains intact as efficiency and reliability of data processing are upheld. Organizations have to adopt data warehousing if at all they need to remain relevant in the current super competitive markets.
Purpose and Role of Data Warehouses in Interactions
An organization using data warehousing offers a good platform for the interaction of the various departments in that organization. This is an important tool to enhance interactive exchange of ideas promoting the socio-economic growth of the organization. The process makes it easy for the administration to track the trends of the organization even on non-official occasions. The managerial therefore is able to keep in touch with the daily on-goings of the organization and it is able to make relevant decisions that promote the well-being of the organization. Additionally, it is possible to monitor the performance of each department from a statistical records that have been developed using the appropriate soft wares. Departments that are lagging behind are identified easily from these statistics and necessary measures are taken to ensure that their effects are not detrimental to the success of the organization.
Purpose in Business context
Data warehousing plays a pivotal role in the storage and organization of information. The chief advantage being the significant reduction of paper works in the organization. Organizations no longer need to have heaps of files to store data. Moreover, the historical data is easily archived and retrieved at any time. That notwithstanding databases have come with the advantage of a neater working environment with less papers. This is consistent with the purpose and objective of data warehouses which is to provide reliable and easily accessible data stores. Two main steps are used in creating the data warehouses. The first one being the bottom up design. In this design a data warehouse is built on data marts being the building blocks. The dimensions and facts are organized into small simple data marts that are later combined to generate the entire data warehouse. The integration of these data marts is basically alignedon the dimensions that conform to that data mart. The other step or design is the top down where the complex data warehouse takes centrality. This is broken down into various dimensional data marts that contain the required data for certain business processes as well as the different departments found in an organization. The two designs however, aim at creating a data store for the whole organization. This helps localize information about the organization resulting to ease of retrieval.
Organization and IT
Apart from the reduction of paper work and the localization of information, productivity is enhanced in the organizations that embrace data warehousing. Firstly, it is worth noting that time is an important factor as far as the success of any organization is concerned. Rather, the achievement of an organization’s goals is partly embedded on its ability to save and utilize time effectively. How does this come about? An organization that embraces data warehousing loses little time in retrieving either current or historical data due to the fact that they are properly organized in the system. Compared to a system where data is stored in files which are susceptible to misplacement, data warehousing is much efficient and effective. Secretaries and the concerned personnel do not take consume much time to obtain the required information like in the filing system. Moreover, in the organization of annual reports, work is made easier since data had already been organized in the process of recording. Embedding of the same data to the reports hence becomes an easy task. The process is also beneficial to IT when organizations decide to embrace data warehousing. The primary reason why the process is beneficial is the fact that jobs are created for the IT personnel. This is because the databases have to be created and maintained by them. Additionally, they develop soft wares that help carry out various operations on the data contained in those data warehouses. This makes manipulation of data less manual and reduces chances of error as well.
Benefits and Challenges
A couple of benefits accrue to data warehousing. First, it makes the process of data storage easy and quickly retrievable. This is because all the data appertaining to the organization is localized at one point which is availed to the people concerned. For instance, the data could be availed online in a website such that the concerned personnel will only need to have the login details to view the information. The process also enhances data security since the system administrator is the only person who can alter the data. This is because the system administrator is the only person who has write rights to the system and therefore is the only person who can make changes to the system. Other members of the organization have read only rights and therefore are obscured against making changes to the information in the system. However, the system has some disadvantages that can be very detrimental to the organization. For instance when the system crashes, the organization risks losing some important information if at all it was not backed up in hard drive or any other source. This can result from virus invasion which cause the system to crush or fail. On the other hand, an organization whose database encryption is weak risks the attack of hackers. Hackers may maneuver their way into the system and have extremely harmful effects to the organization. Once they have their way they can hack into the security system of the organization and carry important information that can result to robbery or fraud. Additionally, they can maliciously change figures in the system or deliver vital information to competitors.
The common technology in this topic is database creation and management. This will involve a few soft wares as well that are used hand in hand to manipulate the data stored in the data warehouse. Hard drives and cd roms are also essential in the backing up of information. Lastly, web design is an important tool where various departments and users can interact. Important information can also be posted on the website for the concerned to access.
Data Warehousing. (2014, February 13). Retrieved from Keydata: http://www.1keydata.com/datawarehousing/datawarehouse.html
Inmon, W. (1996). Building the Data Warehouse. John Wiley and Sons.
Kelly, R. R. (2012). Introduction to Information Systems: Enabling and Transforming Business. Wiley.
Kimball, R. (1996). The Data Warehouse Toolkit. John Wiley and Sons.
Oracle. (2002, December 5). Data Warehousing Concepts. Retrieved from Oracle.com: http://docs.oracle.com/cd/B10500_01/server.920/a96520/concept.htm