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What is Data Warehousing?

By David White
Updated May 16, 2024
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Data warehousing combines data from multiple, usually varied, sources into one comprehensive and easily manipulated database. Different methods can then be used by a company or organization to access this data for a wide range of purposes. Analysis can be performed to determine trends over time and to create plans based on this information. Smaller companies often use more limited formats to analyze more precise or smaller data sets, though warehousing can also utilize these methods.

Accessing Data Through Warehousing

Common methods for accessing systems of data warehousing include queries, reporting, and analysis. Because warehousing creates one database, the number of sources can be nearly limitless, provided the system can handle the volume. The final result, however, is homogeneous data, which can be more easily manipulated. System queries are used to gain information from a warehouse and this creates a report for analysis.

Uses for Data Warehouses

Companies commonly use data warehousing to analyze trends over time. They might use it to view day-to-day operations, but its primary function is often strategic planning based on long-term data overviews. From such reports, companies make business models, forecasts, and other projections. Routinely, because the data stored in data warehouses is intended to provide more overview-like reporting, the data is read-only.

This does not mean that data warehousing involves information that is never updated. On the contrary, the data stored in warehouses is updated all the time. It is the reporting and the analysis that take more of a long-term view.

Limitations on Warehousing

Data warehousing is not always the best method for storing all of a company's data. Companies often use it to house the necessary information for specific analysis. More comprehensive data storage requires different capacities that are more static and less easily manipulated than those used for warehousing. This can include internal servers or data storage terminals meant to be accessed and used by various individuals within a business.

Smaller Solutions for Data Storage

While larger companies typically use data warehousing to analyze big sets of information for enterprise purposes, smaller companies wishing to review just one subject often utilize "data marts." These are much more specific and targeted in their storage and reporting. Data warehousing can include smaller amounts of data grouped into "marts," which are then connected together as part of the larger system. In this way, a major company might use both warehousing and data marts, letting users choose the best source and functionality depending on their current needs.

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Discussion Comments
By anon961558 — On Jul 18, 2014

What is the difference between data warehouse and Rdbms?

By anon259611 — On Apr 07, 2012

Please tell me how to prepare a technical seminar on a potential roadblock to Data Warehousing. It is urgent.

By anon166121 — On Apr 07, 2011

can you specify any institutions for training /teaching in data warehousing?

By anon155254 — On Feb 23, 2011

Which queries can be used in data warehouses?

By anon147713 — On Jan 30, 2011

what is the difference between data mining and data warehousing?

By anon133835 — On Dec 12, 2010

What is the difference between data warehousing and other legacy systems?

By anon101796 — On Aug 05, 2010

can you specify any institutions for training /teaching in dataware housing?

By anon96346 — On Jul 15, 2010

i interested to do projects on data warehousing. can you suggest some topics on data warehousing?

By tushar46 — On Jul 01, 2010

Thanks for sharing about data warehousing. i like it.

By anon88150 — On Jun 03, 2010

Nice one. Looking for more articles on Data Warehousing.

By anon87428 — On May 30, 2010

Which queries can be used in data warehouses, and is it the same as an oracle?

By anon84266 — On May 14, 2010

Easily understandable for beginners.

By anon83185 — On May 09, 2010

I need articles on security in data warehousing.

By anon81932 — On May 04, 2010

what is the use of data warehousing in the software and what is the main role of this?

By anon80238 — On Apr 26, 2010

Good one. Describes data warehousing in a nutshell.

By anon76689 — On Apr 11, 2010

It is very nice. But i have small doubt could anybody clarify it?

What my question is, Data Warehouse is a Relational Database?

By anon75853 — On Apr 08, 2010

Good notes. Thanks for the useful knowledge. --Lecturer

By anon65087 — On Feb 11, 2010

what is the use of data warehousing in the software and what is the main role of this?

By anon64098 — On Feb 05, 2010

Thank you for this information.

By anon59507 — On Jan 08, 2010

so what software/ programs do they use for this?

By anon59072 — On Jan 06, 2010

it is a nice articles.

By anon58866 — On Jan 05, 2010


By anon57439 — On Dec 23, 2009

Precise and crisp explanation. Very helpful.

By anon54962 — On Dec 03, 2009

Thank you. Very good and helpful. keep these kinds of articles coming non stop.:) thank you.

By anon54826 — On Dec 02, 2009

very good!

By anon53886 — On Nov 25, 2009

very simple language and very helpful. Thanks

By anon51475 — On Nov 06, 2009

Very helpful. Thanks

By anon44222 — On Sep 05, 2009

Very good article. I like it.

By tugboats — On Apr 22, 2008

Is this what is involved when companies sell information?

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