What Is A Data Warehouse And What Are Its Benefits?

Data integration consists of three processes that integrate data from multiple sources into a data

warehouse: accessing the data, combining different views of the data and capturing changes to

the data. It makes data available to ETL (Extraction, Transformation and Load) tools and through

the three processes of ETL, to the analysis tools of the data warehousing environment.

2. What is a data warehouse and what are its benefits? Why is Web accessibility important

with a data warehouse?

A data warehouse can be defined as a pool of data produced to support decision

making.' This focuses on the essentials, leaving out characteristics that may vary from one DW

to another but are not essential to the basic concept.

The same paragraph gives another definition: 'a subject-oriented, integrated, time-variant,

nonvolatile collection of data in support of management's decision-making process.' This

definition adds more specifics, but in every case appropriately: it is hard, if not impossible, to

conceive of a data warehouse that would not be subject-oriented, integrated, etc.

The benefits of a data warehouse are that it provides decision making information, organized in a

way that facilitates the types of access required for that purpose and supported by a wide range

of software designed to work with it.

Web accessibility of a data warehouse is important because many analysis applications are Web-

based, because users often access data over the Web and because data from the Web may feed

the DW.

(Reviewed from chapter-8 Section 8.2. )

3. A data mart can replace a data warehouse or complement it. Compare and discuss these


For a data mart to replace a data warehouse, it must make the Data ware house unnecessary. This would

mean that all the analyses for which the Data ware house would be used can instead be satisfied by a Data management. If this is so, it can be much less expensive, in terms of

development and computer resources, to use multiple Data managements instead of an

overall Data ware house.

In other situations, a data mart can be used for some analyses which would in its absence use the

Data ware house, but not all of them. For those, the smaller Data management is more efficient'quite possibly, enough

more efficient as to justify the cost of having a Data management in addition to a Data ware house. Here the Data management.

complements the Data ware house.

4. Discuss the major drivers and benefits of data warehousing to end users.

Major drivers include:

' Increased competition and pace of business, leading to increased need for good decisions


' Successful pioneering experiences with data warehouses, leading to their wider user


' Decreasing hardware costs, making terabyte databases with masses of historical data

economically feasible for more firms

' Increased availability of software to manage a large data warehouse

' Increased availability of analysis tools making DWs potentially more useful

' Increased computer literacy of decision makers, making them more likely to use these tools.


It gives easier, faster and flexible reporting.

Identifies data quality issues and helps in taking solutions.

For new business opportunities it improves ability to respond intelligently.

Standards are accommodated both globally and locally.

(reviewed from chapter-8, Section 8.6 )

5. List the differences and/or similarities between the roles of a database administrator and a

data warehouse administrator.

Since a data warehouse is a specific type of database designed for a specific application area, a

data warehouse administrator has all the roles of a database administrator'plus others. One new

role is advising on decision support uses of the Data Warehouse, for which a Data Warehouse

Administrator needs to understand decision making processes. Beyond that, the issue is more a

need for additional skills in the same roles as a Data Business Analytics'e.g., understanding

high-performance hardware to deal with the large size of a Data Warehouse'than it is one of

additional roles.

(Reviewed from chapter-8, Section 8.8)

6. Describe how data integration can lead to higher levels of data quality.

A question involving the word 'higher' requires asking 'higher than what'? In this case, we can

take it to mean 'higher than we would have for the same data, but without a formal data

integration process.'

Without a data integration process to combine data in a planned and structured manner, data

might be combined incorrectly. That could lead to misunderstood data (a measurement in meters

taken as being in feet) and to inconsistent data (data from one source applying to calendar

months, data from another to four-week or five-week fiscal months). These are aspects of low

-quality data which can be avoided, or at least reduced, by data integration.

7. Compare the Kimball and Inmon approaches toward data warehouse development.

Identify when each one is most effective.

Inmon's approach starts with an enterprise data warehouse, creating data marts as subsets if

appropriate. It is most effective when there is a recognized need for an EDW, an executive

'champion' of the project, and a willingness to invest in a data warehousing infrastructure before

it will show results.

Kimball's approach starts with data marts, consolidating them into an EDW later if appropriate.

It is most effective when it is desired to provide a 'proof of concept' implementation before

embarking on a full-scale EDW project or when a well-defined area with the greatest benefits

can be identified.

8. Discuss security concerns involved in building a data warehouse.

Security and privacy concerns are important in building a data warehouse:

1. Laws and regulations, in the U.S. and elsewhere, require certain safeguards on databases

that contain the type of information typically found in a DW.

2. The large amount of valuable corporate data in a data warehouse can make it an attractive


3. The need to allow a wide variety of unplanned queries in a DW makes it impractical to

restrict end user access to specific carefully constrained screens, one way to limit potential


9. Investigate current data warehouse development implementation through off shoring.

Write a report about it. In class, debate the issue in terms of the benefits and costs, as well as

social factors.

It is impossible to predict what the debate will bring. A student's position on this issue is related

to his/her feelings on the relationship of national economies to the global economy. It can be

argued that off shoring improves the global economy while potentially harming one or more of

the national economies involved'such as the student's own. U.S. students may see primarily the

damage they perceive it does to their national economy(and to their own career prospects), but

students in India may take a different view.

Source: Essay UK - http://www.essay.uk.com/free-essays/information-technology/data-warehouse.php

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