I would say DW, abbreviation for Data Warehousing, is a misnomer. True, what we do is maintaining a warehouse for
the data. But it hides the very important reason why such warehouses are built. I would call it Data Analytics. Why? Coz the
data is stored in the warehouse for analysis & of course for doing analytical processing. In this era of huge organizations,
it has become imperative for every department of every organization to track data. The data can be anything. It can be employee
related data. Or it can be an application specific data. Or it can be ordinary expense tracking data. But just by storing
this data we achieve nothing but consuming resources for storing that data. For example, consider a departmental store. Generally
retail outlets capture the number of products sold per day. But if this is not comparable to the actual products sold, then
it is not possible to analyze why a particular was sold higher/lower than other products in a particular day.
Unless the data is stored in a compatible, usable, analyzable, comparable, distinguishable
format, the data is nothing but data. The data stored has to become information thereby contributing to the development of
the organization. These days’ data drive the future financial & even organizational decisions. DW does exactly that.
It stores the data in a most structured form that the business users use them to make important decisions. The data warehouses
drive the concept of Data Mining. DW gives meaning to the data. It converts mere numbers/characters to a business driving
force. As the concept of DW is relatively new, more & more organizations are trying to build at least a single warehouse
for storing the already existing data. What DW does is it gives structure to the data. I am stressing this point again &
again since the entire concept of DW depends on structuring the data.
To build a successful DW it is imperative to understand the underlying business.
DW is entirely business driven. The necessity to build a DW comes out of business important to make important decisions. There
are cases where a warehouse can be technically correct but can be a piece of crap from the business perspective. DW is a blend
of technicality & also business. With this in mind let’s march on in our quest to understand the design of a DW!!!