Guide to Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence
There are many business drivers in play today that are motivating companies to establish data warehouses. Current, consistent and accurate business information, they believe is critical for strategic and tactical decision making. Some of the business drivers are summarized below.
Single Version of the Truth
Fragmented, inconsistent and outdated data in multiple databases does not permit good strategic and tactical decision making. Companies require that business intelligence be consolidated and presented in a suitable format for decision making. Inconsistent information from disparate information systems is no longer acceptable. Data Warehouses help companies to achieve a single version of the truth by consolidating the most accurate and current data from the most reliable systems.
Current and Accurate Information
In a highly competitive market place, businesses need to quickly identify problems and opportunities and respond to events expeditiously and appropriately. Up-to-date information on sales, profits, inventories and customers can help identify problems early and leverage opportunities that could otherwise be missed. Most application systems are too narrowly scoped and operate on cycles that don't support real-time or near real-time information access. A data warehouse, however, can be designed to deliver up-to-date accurate information to decision makers.
Rapidly Changing Information Needs
It is very difficult for businesses to anticipate future information needs. Application systems often seem rigid and unable to adapt to evolving management information needs. Businesses need the flexibility to slice and dice data in many ways in order to identify and analyze changes in the market place or in the business itself. Data Warehouses are designed for online, analytical purposes and provide great flexibility.
Customer Service Excellence
It is often said that 10% of a business's customers account for 90% of the business's profits. Identifying the good customers and providing them with excellent service helps retain good customers. Data Warehousing can help identify a company's best customers using a any number or criterion.
New Service Delivery Channels
It is no longer sufficient to provide customers with just 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM in-store service. Customers want to do business 7 days a week, 24 hours per day using alternate service delivery channels such as via the Internet or telephone. By examining all customer transactions, regardless of the channel used, businesses can better understand their customers and serve them better. Data Warehousing is critical for profiling customers and their transactions, regardless of the channel used.