What is Data Warehouse?

By: Vivian Truong - Principal Consultant
Published: September 10, 2020

Data Warehouse

Data warehouse is a system used for reporting and data analysis and is considered a core component of business intelligence. It combines information collected from multiple sources into one comprehensive database. In another word, the main function of Data Warehouse is to extract information from various SQL-based sources and create analytic reports considering all gathered data.

There are three different types of Data Warehouse: Enterprise Data Warehouse, Operational Data Store, and Data Mart.

  1. Enterprise Data Warehouse is a centralized warehouse, which provides decision support service across the enterprise. It offers a unified approach to organizing and representing data. It also provides the ability to classify data according to the subject and give access according to those divisions.
  2. Operational Data Store is data store required when Data Warehouse does not support organizations reporting needs. In Operational Data Store, Data Warehouse is refreshed in real time. Therefore, it is widely preferred for routine activities like storing records of the Employees.
  3. Data Mart is a subset of the data warehouse. It is specially designed for specific segments like sales, finance. In an independent data mart, data can be collected directly from sources.

Who needs the Data Warehouse?

  • Decision makers who rely on mass amounts of data.
  • Users who need to combine or customize processes to obtain information from multiple data sources.
  • For people who want simple technology to access data.
  • People who want fast performance on a huge amount of data from reports, grids, or charts.
  • For people who want to discover more about dataflows and groupings.

Benefits of Data Warehouse

Here are some great reasons to invest in a data warehouse or other form of centralized data system that analysts and products can utilize.

  • Data warehouse enhances business intelligence
  • High return on investment
  • Time efficient
  • Maintain data history
  • Integrate data from multiple source systems, enabling a central view
  • Improve data quality, by providing codes and descriptions, or even fixing bad data
  • Present the organization’s information consistently
  • Provide a single common data model for all data source
  • Restructure the data to makes sense the users
  • Restructure the data to delivers excellent query performance
  • Add value to operational business applications
  • Reduces reporting cost
  • Reduce data consolidation and integration cost
  • Increase efficiency and decision-making capabilities

Data Warehouse Projects

Best Practices for implementing Data Warehouse:

  • The project must fit with corporate strategy
  • There must be complete buy-in to the project
  • It is important to manage user expectations
  • The data warehouse must be built incrementally
  • Adaptability must be built in from the start
  • Make sure to use right tools, stick to life cycle, take care about data conflicts and ready to learn from mistakes
  • Only load data that have been cleansed/ high quality
  • Do not overlook training requirements


Data warehouses provide a lot of advantages. They allow companies to quickly access and analyze their data effectively from some sources all in one place. It creates accuracy, dependably and democratizing data so that more than just the purely technical employees can access it. Data Warehouse is used in diverse industries like Airline, Banking, Healthcare, Insurance, Retail etc.


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