Every organization today generates a variety of data. They have this information at their fingertips to store, organize, reference, and analyze for decision-making purposes. Unfortunately, in organizations, this data exists across departments or business units in silos where only a few people can access it. And to overcome potential challenges, modern organizations are building an enterprise data warehouse (EDW).
Through this article, I’ll review the definition of an enterprise data warehouse (EDW) and its benefits to help you before you start an EDW implementation.

What is Enterprise Data Warehouse?

An EDW is a database or a collection of databases that stores business information from various sources and applications, making it available for analytics and other uses across the organization. Typically, an enterprise data warehouse stores all the organization's data, regardless of where the data originates from. It differs from a regular data warehouse, where the data stored can be specific to a particular department or a line of business.

The EDW helps standardize and provides consistent access to data sets. Those sets exist in various data stores and are necessary for planning and analysis. An EDW can be on-premises or cloud-based. It's governed by security and data privacy protocols that protect the validity and integrity of the information it houses.

Components of an Enterprise Data Warehouse:

Typically, an enterprise data warehouse can consist of -

  • Multi-channel operational and transactional data sources, like ERP, CRM, financial apps, IoT devices and more
  • Staging area for data aggregation and cleaning
  • Presentation or access area to access data for analytics and sharing
  • Various data integration tools or APIs (like BI software, ingestion, and ETL tools)

Benefits of an Enterprise Data Warehouse include:

  • Real-time data access - EDWs help in immediate access to organization-wide data in real-time by using an Extract-Load-Transform (ELT) approach. The ELT approach differs from the earlier approach of the Extract-Transform-Load (ETL) paradigm, in which the data was cleansed, transformed, or remodeled on an external server and then loaded into a data warehouse for use. The ELT approach extracts raw data from its source and loaded into the data warehouse, making it easier and faster to access and analyze data.
  • Know your customer - Since EDW stores all the data that an organization receives or generates, its analysis can offer complete customer information, helping improve campaign performance, minimize churn, and grow revenue. It also facilitates predictive analysis to make better-informed decisions.
  • Data compliance - EDWs enable data audit and vet the data sources directly to find errors quickly. EDWs comply with the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  • Security - Central data storage on the cloud EDWs offers more robust security than traditional data centers. Stored data is encrypted, making it safer than other hosting solutions. Cloud technology, along with security profiles, is updated frequently, which helps keep up with cybersecurity threats.
  • Scalability - Cloud EDW storage and computing can be scaled up to support more users and larger workloads. It is possible that organizations don't have to set up more physical servers on-site or increase other related hardware infrastructure and software licenses.

Why do Businesses need Enterprise Data Warehouses?

The EDW data housing system can be one of the most critical business assets. Without an enterprise data warehouse, departmental data might need to be housed in data silos where data has to be pulled from different silos for analytics, which may not be error-proof.

  • Different or disparate data sources: If an enterprise has to query different data sources to obtain a detailed analysis, it's generally time to look at an enterprise data warehouse. For example, if a company has to merge information from CRM, mobile app usage, and IoT data, incorporating enterprise data warehousing might be the best course. EDWs consolidates information from diverse data sources into a single central repository, allowing businesses to overview a particular business area comprehensively.
  • Data volume: Many enterprises dealing with high volumes of data from various sources often have problems with data quality and subsequent struggles to run efficient database queries. In such cases, companies should look at enterprise data warehousing, as it allows data centralization and transforms it significantly to optimize operations.
  • Report generation: For the business to succeed and grow, the reports need to be very accurate and report querying should be in real-time. If business enterprises have to deal with lags in data processing and report generation, they can shift their data storage requirements to an enterprise data warehouse and resolve such issues.
  • Regulatory compliance: Cloud-based data warehousing systems ensure that data-related regulations for all kinds of enterprises are complied with, like HIPAA, HL7, PCI DSS, GDPR and more

A centralized repository of all the data generated in an organization, EDW provides accessibility to cross-organizational data that can extract meaningful insights to make intelligent business decisions.

In conclusion, there is ample potential in embracing enterprise data warehousing for businesses. They help connect disparate data sources, assist in managing myriads of digital information, increase and speed up report-making capabilities across different divisions of an enterprise and ensure regulatory compliances. For businesses looking to capitalize on such benefits, connecting with a data warehouse development services company which offers extensive data warehousing services, can help meet its business goals.

Author's Bio: 

Kaushal Shah manages digital marketing communications for the enterprise technology services provided by Rishabh Software.