Every business generates data, but what they do with all this information is not as simple at it may seem.
One definition for Data Warehousing(DW) and Business Intelligence(BI) by Ralph Kimball says :
“The original label that predates DW/BI is still the best description of what you are designing: a decision support system.” this is simple and yet comprehensive,it’s a starting point for whoever wants to enter this domain. The DW and BI are two sides of the same coin, different but if you want performance you can not have one without the other.
A DW is where all the data from source systems is gathered, integrated and transformed into a well structured database, oriented toward flexible analytical processing of high volumes of business information.
The BI includes all the tool that bring to surface the priceless information that we store in the DW. A more formal definition by Gartner says that BI “Is an umbrella term that includes the applications, infrastructure and tools, and best practices that enable access to and analysis of information to improve and optimize decisions and performance.”
Some of the advantages of having a DW/BI:
- time efficency – if there is a new question, a new ideea and a new set of data is needed
- business users can quickly access critical data and rapidly make informed decisions
- data quality and consistency – the process of implementing a DW includes the transformation of data from various source systems into a common format. All the business will have the same understanding when talking about key KPIs, it’s the single point of truth.
- fast access to historical information and the list can go on.
- DW/BI can be applied to many of the current business processes, including marketing segmentation, inventory management, financial management, sales for a better understanding of our company needs and future path.