What is Data Warehousing?

Racks of servers.
Data warehousing combines data from multiple, usually varied, sources into one comprehensive and easily manipulated database.
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  • Originally Written By: David White
  • Revised By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 18 November 2015
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Data warehousing combines data from multiple, usually varied, sources into one comprehensive and easily manipulated database. Different methods can then be used by a company or organization to access this data for a wide range of purposes. Analysis can be performed to determine trends over time and to create plans based on this information. Smaller companies often use more limited formats to analyze more precise or smaller data sets, though warehousing can also utilize these methods.

Accessing Data Through Warehousing

Common methods for accessing systems of data warehousing include queries, reporting, and analysis. Because warehousing creates one database, the number of sources can be nearly limitless, provided the system can handle the volume. The final result, however, is homogeneous data, which can be more easily manipulated. System queries are used to gain information from a warehouse and this creates a report for analysis.

Uses for Data Warehouses

Companies commonly use data warehousing to analyze trends over time. They might use it to view day-to-day operations, but its primary function is often strategic planning based on long-term data overviews. From such reports, companies make business models, forecasts, and other projections. Routinely, because the data stored in data warehouses is intended to provide more overview-like reporting, the data is read-only.


This does not mean that data warehousing involves information that is never updated. On the contrary, the data stored in warehouses is updated all the time. It is the reporting and the analysis that take more of a long-term view.

Limitations on Warehousing

Data warehousing is not always the best method for storing all of a company's data. Companies often use it to house the necessary information for specific analysis. More comprehensive data storage requires different capacities that are more static and less easily manipulated than those used for warehousing. This can include internal servers or data storage terminals meant to be accessed and used by various individuals within a business.

Smaller Solutions for Data Storage

While larger companies typically use data warehousing to analyze big sets of information for enterprise purposes, smaller companies wishing to review just one subject often utilize "data marts." These are much more specific and targeted in their storage and reporting. Data warehousing can include smaller amounts of data grouped into "marts," which are then connected together as part of the larger system. In this way, a major company might use both warehousing and data marts, letting users choose the best source and functionality depending on their current needs.


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Discuss this Article

Post 51

What is the difference between data warehouse and Rdbms?

Post 46

Please tell me how to prepare a technical seminar on a potential roadblock to Data Warehousing. It is urgent.

Post 44

can you specify any institutions for training /teaching in data warehousing?

Post 42

Which queries can be used in data warehouses?

Post 41

what is the difference between data mining and data warehousing?

Post 37

What is the difference between data warehousing and other legacy systems?

Post 31

can you specify any institutions for training /teaching in dataware housing?

Post 29

i interested to do projects on data warehousing. can you suggest some topics on data warehousing?

Post 28

Thanks for sharing about data warehousing. i like it.

Post 27

Nice one. Looking for more articles on Data Warehousing.

Post 26

Which queries can be used in data warehouses, and is it the same as an oracle?

Post 25

Easily understandable for beginners.

Post 24

I need articles on security in data warehousing.

Post 23

what is the use of data warehousing in the software and what is the main role of this?

Post 21

Good one. Describes data warehousing in a nutshell.

Post 20

It is very nice. But i have small doubt could anybody clarify it?

What my question is, Data Warehouse is a Relational Database?

Post 18

Good notes. Thanks for the useful knowledge. --Lecturer

Post 16

what is the use of data warehousing in the software and what is the main role of this?

Post 15

Thank you for this information.

Post 12

so what software/ programs do they use for this?

Post 11

it is a nice articles.

Post 10


Post 9

Precise and crisp explanation. Very helpful.

Post 7

Thank you. Very good and helpful. keep these kinds of articles coming non stop.:) thank you.

Post 6

very good!

Post 5

very simple language and very helpful. Thanks

Post 4

Very helpful. Thanks

Post 2

Very good article. I like it.

Post 1

Is this what is involved when companies sell information?

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