Data Warehouse Basic Concepts
The main concept of a data warehouse is to have a centralized database that will be used to capture information from different areas of the business process. The primary definition of a data warehouse can be determined by the method of collecting data and how it is used by the company and individuals that it serves. Data warehousing is a method used by organizations where they can create and maintain information for a company wide view of the data.
The history of Data Warehouses dates back to the 1980s and 1990s where it became a distinct type of computer database. Data warehouses have evolved because demands could not be met with former operational systems. After all, the need caused separate databases to be created that were designed to support decision-making information for different departments or management. With this challenge, the development between operational and informational systems was produced.
This need has been established for a company wide view of data in operational systems. Current warehouses are designed to help management and organizations to analyze data which helps to fill the need for subject- oriented ideas. Integration is closely related to subject orientation. The data warehouses must put data from disparate sources into a consistent format. They also must resolve such problems as naming inconsistencies and conflicts among units of measure. When this idea is achieved, the data warehouse is considered to be fully integrated.
The type and form of the stored data has nothing to do with whether something is a data warehouse. A data warehouse can either be normalized or de-normalized. And it can be a relational database, multidimensional database, flat file, object database, hierarchical database and others. Data warehouse data often gets changed. Also, the data warehouses will most often be directed to a particular entity or action.
Data warehouse success cannot be guaranteed for every project. The techniques that are involved can become quite complex and erroneous data can also cause failure and errors. When the management support is very strong, resources committed for business values, and the enterprise vision is well established, the end results may turn out to be more helpful for the organization or a business. The main factors that create needs for data warehousing for most businesses today are requirements for the companywide view of quality information and departments separating informational from operational systems for improved performance for managing data.