According to The Data Warehouse Institute, a data warehouse is the foundation for a successful BI program. The concept of data warehousing is pretty easy to understand—to create a central location and permanent storage space for the various data sources needed to support a company’s analysis, reporting and other BI functions.
And it’s really important for your business.
But a data warehouse also costs money — big money. The problem is when big money is involved it’s tough to justify spending it on any project, especially when you can’t really quantify the benefits upfront. When it comes to a data warehouse, it’s not easy to know what the benefits are until it’s up and running. According to BI-Insider.com, here are the key benefits of a data warehouse once it’s launched.
A Data Warehouse Delivers Enhanced Business Intelligence
By providing data from various sources, managers and executives will no longer need to make business decisions based on limited data or their gut. In addition, “data warehouses and related BI can be applied directly to business processes including marketing segmentation, inventory management, financial management, and sales.”
A Data Warehouse Saves Time
Since business users can quickly access critical data from a number of sources—all in one place—they can rapidly make informed decisions on key initiatives. They won’t waste precious time retrieving data from multiple sources.
Not only that but the business execs can query the data themselves with little or no support from IT—saving more time and more money. That means the business users won’t have to wait until IT gets around to generating the reports, and those hardworking folks in IT can do what they do best—keep the business running.
A Data Warehouse Enhances Data Quality and Consistency
A data warehouse implementation includes the conversion of data from numerous source systems into a common format. Since each data from the various departments is standardized, each department will produce results that are in line with all the other departments. So you can have more confidence in the accuracy of your data. And accurate data is the basis for strong business decisions.
A Data Warehouse Provides Historical Intelligence
A data warehouse stores large amounts of historical data so you can analyze different time periods and trends in order to make future predictions. Such data typically cannot be stored in a transactional database or used to generate reports from a transactional system.
A Data Warehouse Generates a High ROI
Finally, the piece de resistance—return on investment. Companies that have implemented data warehouses and complementary BI systems have generated more revenue and saved more money than companies that haven’t invested in BI systems and data warehouses.
And that should be reason enough for senior management to jump on the data warehouse bandwagon.