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This photo shows a simple architecture for a data warehouse. End users directly access data derived from several source systems through the data warehouse.

It is no secret that recording transnational data is a very big help for companies.  However, in order to capture and make use of data in your systems, you need to have a data warehouse.

Where do you start building a data warehouse?  As with anything in business, you need to find out what your needs are.  What kinds of data do you require? What are you going to use the data for?  This type of planning helps you save a lot of time and money along the way.

Generally, building a data warehouse involves the following:


1. Getting all the data you need from different sources.

The biggest and probably the most difficult part of building a data warehouse is getting all the data you have from various sources together in one single storage area.

However, if you are using Oracle, you are in luck because it can help you integrate data from various systems.

2. Making your data uniform.

So you have gathered all the data you have from different sources.  Now you can interpret and use it, right?

Not yet.  Most likely, this newly consolidated data is in different formats.  Over the years, your company might have used different database management systems such as Oracle, MS Access or Sybase.

You would need to take all the data and find a way to relate the different data formats so that you could use them properly.


3. Converting your relational system to dimensional.

Most probably, your existing systems follow the relational model, which is highly normalized and is best for online environments.  However, working with relational databases is not ideal for aggregating values and creating reports, which is what you would need for your data operations.

You would need to come up with a dimensional database that would be able to handle what your business requires.


4. Loading up data.

Once you have the dimensional data in place, you can now load the data you already have in the centralized staging database we talked about in item #1.


5. Getting the aggregates.

Now that you have your database in place and populated it with data, you can get the summary values.  There are a lot of tools that can help you with these.  This is the data that you would need to feed into your reporting tools to get an insight of how your operations are working and what needs to be improved.

While all these might sound simple, building a data warehouse is a topic that can take an entire book to explain.  In fact, you can probably get such at Amazon for a pretty hefty price.  The problem is, most technologies and strategies stated in these books would probably be obsolete and outdated by the time you have a copy in your hands.

Why not leave the complexities and strategies of building a data warehouse to Four Cornerstone?  We have a team of experts who can assist you in any way to help get your data warehouse up and running in no time.


Four Cornerstone, LLC is a leading consulting, information technology, and professional services’ corporation based in Fort Worth, Texas. Our firm was built on a foundation of wisdom, integrity, skill and customer satisfaction. The CEO and senior leadership team bring together over a decade of management experience and talent to the corporation. Senior consultants, project managers, DBA’s, and programmers hold great experience from working at the best IT companies in the country. Our mission is to offer stability in the constantly changing technology marketplace and continually provide valuable services to our customers. We will achieve this by building long term relationships, utilizing our technically advanced products and systems, inspiring our employees and consultants to reach their full potential, and providing reliable, consistent service. Contact us today and see how we can help achieve your business goals

Photo by Oracle.

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