The amount and complexity of data available to marketers has been growing at an exponential pace that challenges organizations to keep up. There is more and more rich information available to marketers than ever before to better understand their competition, segment their customers, analyze their promotion response, and ultimately gain a competitive advantage.
Organizations can guess right from time to time, but informed decision makers will consistently make better decisions, improve their customer relationships, out-perform their competition, and manage their risk. The pay-off for a single, more accurate decision can ultimately pay for an organizations entire data management infrastructure.
The Data Warehousing concept has been around for many years and is implemented by organizations to provide a mechanism to store their operational data in a central repository, standardize and clean their data, and ultimately report on their information across various data sources in a timely and accurate manner. To do this well, a company needs a data warehousing strategy that meets their current business challenges, but is also designed to scale with their company. This strategy must include the following key foundational elements:
- Data Staging and Data Warehouse Repository: Data needs to be collected, staged, and stored in a central repository. This has typically been a database, but newer tools are introducing new options for storing data that may or may not require a database.
- Data Movement: Processes have to be setup to acquire, process, transform, and store data. In data warehousing, this is referred to as ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load) and is an essential component of a successful data warehouse. This processing can be handled via batch processing, near real-time, or real-time web services and can be integrated with an organizations service oriented architecture (SOA).
- Business Intelligence Reporting: A business intelligence tool is a window into the data stored in the data warehouse. There are many high quality solutions in this area that enable business users to access the information they need. Bell Canyon has experience across many of the tools available in the market.
Represented below is a high level data warehouse architecture that will vary for each company depending on the overall strategy for each component.