Introduction to Data Warehouse Tools
In the world of computing, data warehouse is defined as a system that is used for data analysis and reporting. Also known as enterprise data warehouse, this system combines methodologies, user management system, data manipulation system and technologies for generating insights about the company. Considered as repositories of data from multiple sources, data warehouse stores both current and historical data. They are then used to create analytical reports that can either be annual or quarterly in nature.
These report are then used by companies to make detailed sales analysis and marketing campaigns that can effectively take them to the next stage of growth. Before the data is used for data warehouse reporting, it may be used for operational data store as well. Many big companies use separate warehouse to collect and maintain data in an effective manner.
How did data warehouse originate?
Data warehousing dates back to the late 1980s when Barry Devlin and Paul Murphy from IBM developed business data warehouse. In actuality, it was developed to provide an architectural model for the flow of data, specifically from operational systems to decision support environments. By addressing problems related to the flow, it tried to support multiple environments in an effective manner. Thus by introducing the concept of data warehouse, Bill and Ralph were considered as the pioneers of data warehouse. This means that before the concept of data warehouse, data storage and synchronisation was not conducted. Post the development of business data warehouse, it has come a long way and are today an integral part of companies and economies around the world.
Features of data warehousing
Some important features are as given below.
It provides companies with comprehensive decision making support
As the core components of any company involves making plans and developing methodologies and techniques to achieve organisational goals, data warehouse can support great support to help them to do this. This is because data that is conceptualised and compiled in a proper manner, can go a long way in helping companies to strategies and create long term plans.
It helps in subject orientation
A important feature of this is that it is oriented towards the subject. As data is gathered from numerous sources, it helps companies to use specific data that applies to their own field.This helps a company to gain insight into how data can be used in a manner, that all the sectors of the company are benefited in a proper manner. By helping a company handle specific areas like management or IT, it can help them grow in a strategic and comprehensive manner.
It helps to integrate data
After data is complied from different sources, it allows for data integration. This means that data is dynamic and applicable to various departments. Integration of data is, therefore, one of the most important feature of data warehouse.
It allows for flexibility in time
As data is stored in a strategic manner, data has a specific time duration. This makes it easier for companies to access data for a particular time period. It is always better to have data structured in a time specific manner, because it can help companies to find loopholes in management and over all functioning on one hand and make effective comparison on the other hand.
It keeps data safe and secure
Before the development of data warehouse, secondary storage was considered as the best way to save data. However, data warehouse supports integration, cohesiveness and multi-application of data, making them a more suitable choice. This is because it helps to preserve data for future use as well. As data in a warehouse is secure, it is one of the effective methods to store data for future use.
It allows companies to store large volumes of data
Today the data available to companies is almost limitless. And data warehouse is more than capable of meeting this challenge as the size of the warehouse can be increased depending on the amount of data. Different organisations have different amounts of data that they would want to save for future use, so data warehouse is one of the perfect ways to meet that requirement in an effective manner.
It is accurate and grounded
Data in a data warehouse is completely accurate and grounded, as it contains all techniques and theories. As a lot of companies, depend on data insights to take future decisions, this is an extremely important feature. If data is incorrect, it can affect the progress and growth of the company, As a number of technologies is involved in protecting data in warehouse, companies can be assured that the data they have is effective, discrete and multi dimensional.
It is the future of all companies, be it big or small
Since it was officially introduced in the year 2002, it has steadily grown in popularity and has become an integral part of many companies and brands. As many companies use data warehouse to preserve and gain insights about data, there are many advancements in this field by engineers that are making data warehouse more progressive and advanced. One of the most effective techniques to save large amounts of dynamic data, data warehouse is something that all companies must consider for reaching the next stage of growth and development.
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What are some of the popular data warehouse tools available?
These tools are therefore something that every company must look at going into the future. Here are some of the most popular data warehouse tools that can help your company meet its growing and comprehensive needs in a successful manner.
Ab Initio Software
Developed by Ab Initio Software, the products produced by this company are aimed at helping companies to perform functions related to fourth generation data analysis, batch processing, data manipulation and graphical user interface (GUI) based parallel processing software. (GUI based software is commonly used to extract, transform and load data.) The Ab Initio Software is a company that specialises in producing high volume data processing application and was founded more than 20 years ago, giving them considerable expertise in this field. Some of the products manufactured by the company include Graphical Development Environment, Co-operating System, Enterprise Meta, among others. Further, the company also introduced a free feature limited version known as Elementum in 2010, though it was only available to customers who has a commercial license from the company.
Another hosted data warehouse product, Amazon Redshift is a part of the Amazon Web Services, which is basically a large cloud computing platform. Built on top of technology from the massive parallel processing, Redshift is different from other database offered by Amazon. This is because Amazon Redshift can handle analytics workloads of large quantities. In order to handle such huge data, the company make use of massive parallel processing. Some of the partners of Amazon Redshift that provide data integration tools include Alooma, Attunity, FlyData, Informatics, SnapLogic, Talend and Xplenty.
A software vendor, AnalytiX DS provides specialised data mapping and tools for data integration, data management, enterprise application integration and big data software and services. With its main office in Virginia, the company has offices in Asia and North America with a international team of service partners and technical assistants. The founder of AnalytixX DS, Mike Boggs was responsible for coining the term pre-ETL Mapping. Further, the company launched AnalytiX Mapping manager, a premier tool that is capable of automating pre_ETL source to the target mapping process. With an investment of 50-100 crore, AnalytiX Ds might soon open a new development centre in Bangalore in the coming years.
Founded in 2001 by Andy Grove, CodeFutures is based in the United States. The main software of this company is called dbShards, a NewSQL platform based on database sharing. What sets this apart from other SQL products is the fact that dbShards has been designed to provide scalability to companies and can be used with traditional database platforms like MySQL and PostgreSQL. This means that companies will not have to replace their existing database engine but dbShards can be used along with them.
Another database warehouse tool, DATAllegro is specialised in providing companies with appliances that perform a wide range of data warehouse functions. Founded by Stuart Frost in 2003, it was a direct competition to the data warehouse appliance created by Netezza. While Netezza used commodity PowerPC chips, DATAllegro was implemented on the commodity hardware. These included hardware on systems like Dell, CISCO and EMC Corp. However, like Netezza, DATAllegro also used open source software stack. In 2008, Microsoft acquired the company and the SQL Server Data Warehouse is a successor to DATAllegro that uses a version of SQL server database engine.
Holistic Data Management
A framework that is AHISDATA, holistic data management is used for implementing software within a company network. The framework can also perform a range of functions that include data governance, data quality, data integration and master data management. Some of the specifications of Holistic Data management is the following: 1. All data objects in the warehouse must either be a child data object or a parent data object 2. The data network scope must have only one parent data object Data mapping link must be present within all child data objects 4. In the data management modules, there must be exist least one data object relationship
A software development company, Informatics was founded in the year in 1993 in California. With a product portfolio that focusses on data integration, cloud data integration, B2B data exchange, ETL, Information lifecycle management, data replication, data virtualisation, complex event processing among other functions. Together these components come together to provide data warehouse facilities to companies across sectors. The informatics Power centre has three main components namely Informatica Power centre client tools (installed at the developer end), Informatics Power centre repository (place where all the metadata for an application is stored.) Informatica Power centre server (place where all the data executions takes place.) With a customer base of over 5000 companies, Informatics has also launched Informatica Marketplace to allow company stop share and leverage data integration solutions. With a host of features, this tool has over 1300 pre-built mapping, templates, connectors to help companies manage and empower their data in an effective manner.
A California based software company, ParAccel provides database management system for companies and organisations across all sectors. The company was acquired in 2013 by Actian. Two of the products offered by ParAccel are Amigo and Maverick. Amigo has been designed to speed up the process of queries that are generally directed towards the existing data warehouse. In relation, Maverick has been designed to be a stand-alone data store for companies. Amigo was scrapped by ParAccel in favour of Maverick which later evolved to become the ParAccel Analytic Database. A parallel relational database system, the ParAccel Analytical Database uses a shared-nothing architecture with columnar orientation, and memory-centric design to provide data analysis in a comprehensive manner. In addition, ParAccel also offers built in analytic functions like standard deviation and two off shelf Analytics packages called Base package and Advanced Package.
A publicly held international company with its headquarters at Ohio, Teradata offers analytic data platforms and related services to different companies. The analytic products of Teradata is supposed to help companies to consolidate data from numerous sources and help them infer unique and important insights from them. It has two divisions namely data analytics and marketing applications which look after data analytics platforms and marketing software respectively. By providing a parallel processing system, Teradata allows companies to recall and analyse data in a simple and effective manner. One of the most important feature of this data warehouse application is that it segregates data into hot and cold, where cold data is that which is not frequently used. Further, Teradata is considered one of the most popular database warehouse application.
Scriptella: An open source ETL and script execution tool, Scriptella is written in Java. It allows the use of SQL or another scripting language for data source. It however does not offer any graphical user interface. In addition, Scriptella is used for database migration, database creation/update scripts, cross-database ETL operations, import/export, among other functions.
Overall the number of database warehouse tools available to companies are many. That is why companies need to access their requirements and figure out which data warehouse tool can effectively help them grow and empower their growth story in a strategic and successful manner.
This has been a guide to Data Warehouse Tools. Here we have discussed a brief overview with some popular tools with features. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –