This article originally appeared on the BeyeNETWORK.
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Data warehouses are found in places where there is a lot of data, including telephone companies, banks, insurance companies, retailers, government agencies and airlines. And why do you find data warehouses at these data-centric, large institutions? You find data warehouses in these organizations because that is where both the opportunity and the pain are. In these large data-centric organizations, there is an opportunity to find and use customer information to create a bond with the customer. There is an opportunity to consolidate purchases across the organization in order to leverage a bigger discount. There is the opportunity to look at information globally so that global risks can be divined before they take a company down (e.g., Barings Bank). There are many advantages to being able to gather, integrate and look at information holistically. Translating a holistic, corporate view of data into business advantage is a fairly simple thing to do, requiring only a limited imagination.
In this vein, it is fair to ask if midsize companies need a data warehouse as well. The answer is yes, midsize organizations need data warehousing, just like their bigger brethren. Midsize companies need data warehousing because they have needs for:
- Integrated data
- Historical data, and
- Granular data that can be examined in many different ways where there is still a system of record.
The midsize companies experience the same types of needs for information that the big companies do.
The difference between the big companies that need data warehouses and smaller companies is the perceived level of pain. In really large companies, there is a deep and profound pain when it comes to having a data warehouse or not. In small companies, there is that same pain; however, the pain is not perceived to be as bad as it is in the large corporations.
For a long time now, data warehouses have been associated with big bucks. Everybody knows that data warehouses are expensive. So that is why only big corporations could afford to satisfy their pain.
But wait! There are some new technologies entering the data warehouse fold that have great promise to reduce the cost of data warehousing dramatically. Some of these new technologies are:
- Dataupia – Dataupia technology has the potential to reduce the hardware infrastructure by an order of magnitude. One day an organization is paying $10,000,000 for their infrastructure. The next day they are paying $1,000,000 for exactly the same thing.
- Talend – The world of ETL once was a world where the entry price was modest. Today ETL is a big ticket item. But with Talend, you don’t need to pay big bucks. Now you can have ETL for a fraction of what the “standard” ETL companies charge.
- Seatab – Business intelligence is another component of data warehousing that can be spendy. Now there are technologies such as Seatab that have the potential of reducing the costs of data warehousing dramatically.
It is true that today data warehouses are for the large corporations. But with new technologies that are much less expensive yet still provide the same functionality and capacity as older, much more expensive technology, it is possible for the small to midsize organization to build their data warehouse. You don’t need to have a gigantic headache anymore to reach for the data warehouse aspirin. Now midsize organizations can alleviate the pain on a midsize budget.