How To Select The Best Data Warehouse For Your Needs
Decision making is the most fundamental part of any business strategy. Most organizations have come to realize that observation and gut instinct are not always enough to make the right decision, however. Data analysis needs to be the decision making fulcrum when important enterprise decisions are made.
This is easier said than done, unfortunately. Problems arise where collation of the various sources of data in one place is required. This is because the data sources, systems and formats businesses turn to for insite are disparate. This leads to the need to organize all of this data in one repository for analysis. Data warehouses are that one repository. But how do you know which warehouse is right for you? The answer to this question lies in database testing tools.
This article will take a look at
What is a Data Warehouse
How to Select the right Data Warehouse
What is a Data Warehouse
Simply, a Data Warehouse is any system that houses data from multiple sources. This allows for easier analysis through organization and integration. The right data warehouse is incredibly important to any business looking to create a robust strategy moving forward.
A closer look at data warehouses reveals slight differences that businesses can use to their advantage in their data mining and analysis endeavors. Bill Inmon, the father of data warehouses, defined three different classes of warehouse:
As the name suggests, Subject-Oriented data warehouses organize data by topic. This means analysts can easily search and monitor data relevant to their interests. For example, a marketing analyst could search target community demographics to see which advertising strategies to deploy.
Non Volatile data warehouses contain data that cannot and will not change. This could be transaction records, business histories or even legislative decisions.
Time-Variant data warehouses contain historical data. Think of it as a long term memory as opposed to short term memory, which would be a Transactional data warehouse (one that only contains recent data).
While these three classes defined the entire field of data warehouses in their infancy, today many companies are turning to cloud based warehouse services. These services can cut the costs of expensive hardware, however, their temperamentality and fears of security failures makes more of a case for robust database testing tools. The need for such database testing tools in increasing, but that doesn’t mean more and more companies aren’t making the switch to cloud-based services. Generally, they are easier to maintain, organize and develop, all positive points for modern businesses.
One of the biggest concerns many businesses have when deciding between on-site vs cloud-based warehouses is the ability and speed at which they can access their data. Obviously, using expensive hardware that is housed on site and maintained by one’s own staff is slightly faster than accessing a network. However, this difference can be considered negligible for most cases. Database testing tools can be used to test the speed of access, but it’s safe to assume a cloud-based system won’t hinder business compared to on-site systems.
Cost is king when it comes to business, and this doesn’t change when considering what data warehouse is best. On-site hardware can get expensive to build -- we’re talking thousands. This also doesn’t include the cost it’s going to take to maintain.
Cloud-based systems are going to cost much less depending on the vendor you decide on. Different vendors will offer different bonuses, but this will inflate cost. Be sure to shop around. Treat this as you would any other business purchase.
As is the case with anything else in business: compliance must be met. There’s no way around it. There are no if’s, and’s or but’s about it. While choosing a data warehouse product, you need to ensure that the compliance standards of the data warehouse service providers and your company’s compliance policies are in sync and are mapped. This is another case where database testing tools can help you determine which product is the right choice for your business.
The prime focus while selecting a data warehouse should be on availability irrespective of whether it is on-site or cloud-based. A higher level of availability is expected due to the necessity of data for decisions and the move to real-time analytics.
Cloud-based products are offered with high uptime percentages and great availability. Outages are also known to occur, however, and it is not like cloud services are not prone to downtime.
Cloud-based data warehouse services excel tremendously when it comes to scalability. Along with the growth of organizations, the amount of data grows as well. This requires more computer power in order to analyze all the data effectively.
Whatever decision you make, it’s important to utilize database testing tools to make sure the product you’ve invested in is working for your business.