In a utopian world, your ‘data-driven’ SME relies on data to accelerate growth through business intelligence (BI) and prudent decision-making. However, very few SMEs succeed in unlocking the true potential of their data for BI because they lack a robust data warehouse.
According to a Big Data Analytics Market Study, data warehousing is one of the most important technologies for effective BI architecture. When analyzing large volumes of organized data and deriving prompt insights become overwhelming, then the time for deploying your very own data warehouse tool is nigh!
Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence
A Data Warehouse (DWH) is a centralized platform that consolidates, stores, and standardizes data coming from multiple, disparate sources to give a comprehensive, holistic view of organizational data to business users. This is how business intelligence and data warehousing go hand-in hand. From a BI perspective, DWH’s holistic view—consisting of both historical and current data—helps generate meaningful insights and forecasts.
In a contemporary business environment, all enterprises deal with large volumes of data every day. Keeping track of all this data and its heterogeneous sources e.g., different ERP and CRM systems, is a challenging task. Conversely, a unified view of this data is a staple for generating intelligent reports, identifying trends, and formulating business strategies.
This is where a data warehouse comes to save the day!
An effectively deployed data warehouse improves data access, security, data compliance and quality, and BI reporting. By making the right data accessible to business users, it serves as the foundation for a powerful BI strategy.
Modern cloud-based data warehouse tools are also equipped with nifty features such as Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) functionality, data lineage, and metadata management capabilities.
Importance of Data Warehousing for SMEs
SMEs often fail to compete with large, data-driven enterprises for market share. Many large organizations have already reached matured stages of BI technology while smaller firms lag behind. This is partly because larger enterprises were the first ones to recognize the potential of BI architecture and partly because they invested extensively in analytics and BI architecture such as modern data warehouse tools.
On the other hand, smaller businesses haven’t had the resources to invest in BI architecture of similar scale. However, advancements in the BI tools—such as cloud data warehouses—are now empowering SMEs to employ smart BI as well.
Only with a modern data warehouse architecture backing up your BI system can make your SME take agile, growth-oriented decisions based on accurate, unified, and real-time data.
5 Signs It’s Time to Accelerate Your Data Warehousing:
When should you deploy your data warehouse? Well, here are 5 signs that show your SME needs to deploy its data warehouse at its earliest.
Slower Reporting Times:
An effective BI and data analysis strategy relies on accuracy and speed. Faster reporting in SMEs means quicker decisions and smarter responses, especially in times of rapidly changing business environments.
A DWH improves reporting by consolidating all your data, from disparate sources, onto a centralized platform accessible to relevant stakeholders. On top of that, modern data warehouses account for changes in data by using slowly changing dimensions (SCDs). These are dimensions in a database which are prone to change e.g., primary contact or address. Therefore, managers always have timely access to accurate, granular, and up-to-date data, just ripe for BI reporting.
Use of Spreadsheets for Storing Data:
Using spreadsheets has always been a great way of storing and analyzing data across all business functions. However, they become overwhelmingly sluggish if burdened with too much data. Moreover, different departments often use disparate formats and metadata in their files, creating incoherence in how data is stored.
If you’re using spreadsheets as your primary data source, you might want to update your BI architecture with a DWH. By purchasing a DWH turnkey service, you can standardize data on a single platform, expediting the time needed to acquire data for reports. Now, you won’t need to manually check different sheets, spread across different departments, just to generate a single BI report.
Being Overwhelmed by Data:
Dealing with reams of data every day, and then utilizing it for BI-analytics, can be overwhelming to say the least. The presence of a data warehouse, however, streamlines the job of gathering and using this data, making the process efficient and seamless.
As per estimates, anywhere between 60% to 95% of a company’s data lies unused. Imagine how useful it would be if all this raw data could be brought under control and used for BI. This is what a data warehouse does when it stores all your data in a structured format, ready for analysis.
Once you’ve got a modern data warehouse architecture set up, you can automate the flow of all your data into a single source or platform. Now, you are able to see a holistic picture your data without having to manually analyze all data sources separately.
Discrepancies in BI Reports:
Discrepancies in data and reports are always concerning since they affect the quality of an SME’s business intelligence. With a DWH turnkey service, however, SMEs can always rely on consistently accurate data which can be used for generating accurate insights.
Data warehouse turnkey services eliminate discrepancies by unifying data in silos and giving a complete picture of the data, available to all relevant analysts and BI users. Data reports ultimately start deriving accurate insights and remarkable decisions.
Need for Improving Data Quality:
Data quality issues can affect the accuracy of BI insights and decisions in any SME. One way of improving your data quality management is to deploy a modern data warehouse.
A DWH turnkey service can improve data quality by standardizing the form and format in which records exist. Subsequently, records which don’t match the chosen quality standards are either corrected or eliminated. You can also eliminate quality issues such as redundant data, inadequately recorded data, and misinformation from historical and current records. Subsequently, good quality data makes your analyses and insights more accurate. Well-built data warehouses—designed by experts—promise to improve the quality and reliability of all your data forms.
Ready to Deploy a Turnkey Data Warehouse?
Given the aforementioned signs which herald the need for data warehousing, do you think it is time for your SME to deploy a data warehouse of its own? Our data warehousing turnkey services make BI-led DWHs accessible, convenient, and affordable for all SMEs.
Under Astera’s turnkey services, experts build and deploy custom-designed data warehouses for organizations of all sizes. Professionals at Astera also modernize legacy BI architecture with agile data warehouse design for better BI reporting. Therefore, you don’t need to expend hefty resources on building data warehouse from scratch or updating existing ones yourself if you employ our end-to-end turnkey services.
Our goal is to democratize data warehousing by allowing all businesses to utilize rich, enterprise-scale, and real-time analytics for intelligent decision-making. With turnkey services, we ensure this by designing, configuring, and deploying your DWH while you focus on deriving accurate, growth-oriented insights.
Are you interested in knowing more about how Astera’s turnkey services get the job done? Get in touch with our solution experts today.