A data warehouse (DW or DWH), also known as an enterprise data warehouse (EDW), is a system used for reporting and data analysis and is considered a core component of business intelligence. DWs are central repositories of integrated data from one or more disparate sources. They store current and historical data in one single place that are used for creating analytical reports for workers throughout the enterprise.
The data stored in the warehouse is uploaded from the operational systems (such as marketing or sales). The data may pass through an operational data store and may require data cleansing for additional operations to ensure data quality before it is used in the DW for reporting.
A data warehouse maintains a copy of information from the source transaction systems. This architectural complexity provides the opportunity to:
- Integrate data from multiple sources into a single database and data model. More congregation of data to single database so a single query engine can be used to present data in an ODS.
- Mitigate the problem of database isolation level lock contention in transaction processing systems caused by attempts to run large, long-running analysis queries in transaction processing databases.
- Maintain data history, even if the source transaction systems do not.
- Integrate data from multiple source systems, enabling a central view across the enterprise. This benefit is always valuable, but particularly so when the organization has grown by merger.
- Improve data quality, by providing consistent codes and descriptions, flagging or even fixing bad data.
- Present the organization’s information consistently.
- Provide a single common data model for all data of interest regardless of the data’s source.
- Restructure the data so that it makes sense to the business users.
- Restructure the data so that it delivers excellent query performance, even for complex analytic queries, without impacting the operational systems.
- Add value to operational business applications, notably customer relationship management (CRM) systems.
- Make decision–support queries easier to write.
- Organize and disambiguate repetitive data
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