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Data Warehousing: What It Is, and Why You Need It

Looking closely at data warehousing reveals a wealth of new possibilities and potential concerns. Knowing not only what it is but what you need for it is vital to getting the most out of data warehousing.

What Is Data Warehousing?

Data warehousing is the practice of storing a business's data in one central location. A data warehouse can't just be one five-terabyte hard drive located centrally. It needs to meet a few key criteria to be considered a proper warehouse:

  • Secure. A data warehouse represents a large amount of proprietary data, from customer records to shopping patterns and beyond. Losing some of it to competitors could shut down a business; losing it to cyber criminals could mean lawsuits.
  • Reliable. Warehoused data needs to be available any time it's needed.
  • Easy to access. Data needs to be accessible on demand to those authorized to handle it. If it can't be readily accessed, its value falls as time is lost and resources are wasted.

Why Do I Need Data Warehousing?

Some may regard data warehousing as the ultimate mistake of putting all of one's eggs in one basket. However, there is greater value here that makes the practice worthwhile.

  • Better security potential. Putting all your eggs in one basket is really only a problem if you're not planning to watch that basket. Having to only protect one thing means all available resources can be focused on that goal, making for better security. Centralized architecture can help spot distributed denial of service (DDoS) and other attacks, making these easier to fend off.
  • Improved system operations. The information in a data warehouse commonly comes in with metadata like formats, keys, data models, and so on. This makes it possible to find information faster and use it to generate reports, smoothing out system operations and improving the overall flow.
  • Greater C-suite support. Since the C-suite will have to commit resources to data warehousing, it's worth noting how it will improve decision making throughout the organization. The data therein is easily accessible and credible enough to facilitate decision making -- so decisions can be made faster (and better) thanks to the availability of evidence for support.

How Do I Get Started With Data Warehousing?

All of this likely sounds appealing, and getting data warehousing operations set up can be easier than you might expect. Start your new operations with EmconIT, who has the experience and the background to properly warehouse your data.