Data Warehousing, Its Types and How it Differs from ETL

Pick up any business around the world and you will find that it has its own distinct needs that help it survive and stay competitive. These needs, although distinct, but can be grouped into different categories. These categories may be uniform across several firms and industries. This is why you will find departments such as operations, finance, HR and so on. 

The Technological Influence

Given the growth and influence of technology in every other business, technology has become involved in a number of different aspects in every business. Therefore, similar to all those physical departments with their distinctive functions are departments and tasks in the Information Technology sector. Sometimes, these departments may correspond with physical ones in an industry. 

What is Data Warehousing?

One of the major ones that relates exactly is the warehousing department. Like any business would need warehouses to systematically store and record its products, it needs data warehousing to store the data recorded over the span of operations. This data is then used to generate insights about business decisions and ensure that the right decisions are made. 

However, data warehousing is not just a single-dimensional procedure and can be segmented into different types. Then each type of data warehousing will have its own usage. Here are the three main types of data warehouses that are used:

1. Enterprise Data Warehouse:

Enterprise data warehouse works as a centralized warehouse for the entire organization, collecting and storing information from all around in different divisions. Furthermore, the access can be managed to allow access to different divisions and restricting access to others.

2. Operational Data Store

An Operational data store, much like an Enterprise Data Warehouse is a single unified warehouse for the entire organization. However, unlike an Enterprise Data Warehouse, an operational data store is refreshed in real time and used regularly in routine procedures of the business. 

3. Data Mart

A Data Mart is a segment of the data warehouse. It is applicable to a separate segment of the business and hence supports a particular function in the business. Hence, a data mart is where the first source of entry might be and it will later be added to the data warehouse.

How Does A Data Warehouse Work and Where Does ETL Fit in?

Although it is pretty straightforward how the data may be found in a warehouse how the data flows to the warehouse is worth questioning. The data may be found in either a structured, semi-structured or unstructured form. But since the data comes from different sources, it may be in different formats. 

This is where the ETL – Extract, Transform, Load – Process fits in. The process is aimed at extracting the data from sources such as Google Analytics, transforming it into a usable state which is then loaded into the data warehouse. 

Since every data set is different from the other, the act of data warehousing and the ETL process is rather complex. To learn it, there are several different courses that you could use.