What are the functions of data warehouse

Data warehouse

What is data warehouse?

Under a Data warehouse (DWH) is understood as a central collection point for data that arise or are collected in a company. That is fed Data warehouse mostly from different sources, such as from the data of an ERP system or the support department that stores customer data. The aim is to use a data warehouse to build up a clean database that serves as a business decision-making aid.

What is a data warehouse needed for?

Various programs, tools and systems are typically used in companies to collect data. The programs generate data and save them in different formats on different databases. However, when it comes to evaluating the data, they first have to be laboriously standardized and adapted to the same database. The DWH counteracts this problem by making it possible to merge heterogeneous and distributed databases - such as those from CRM sales - into one consistent database. This clear structuring of the data supports strategic decisions and efficient knowledge management.

Data warehouse functionality

The raw data is extracted from the various sources using the ETL process (extraction - transformation - loading), cleaned up and standardized by the transformation, and then loaded into the data warehouse. In order to keep the data up-to-date, this process is carried out at regular intervals. The data in the data warehouse is not only kept according to its content, but is also stored for a long time in order to enable comparative analyzes and to create a clear planning basis.

Data warehouse in the CRM system

Successful customer relationship management (CRM) is based on a well-functioning data warehouse system. This is a prerequisite for being able to carry out targeted analyzes regarding the establishment and maintenance of customer relationships. A data warehouse system therefore promotes a dialogue-oriented marketing strategy.
Planning concepts for the areas of marketing, service and sales can be derived from this knowledge. In this way, the marketing information obtained can increase the efficiency of the seller and improve the analysis of the market situation. This results, for example, in a selective target group approach that minimizes wastage and promotes innovative forms of customer contact. Furthermore, the clean analysis basis enables a timely and efficient reaction to customer needs and trends. The simple handling of a data warehouse also allows laypersons to call up the required data at any time and to use the DWH flexibly.
The DWH can also be used excellently for future forecasts thanks to the integration of historical data.

Data warehouse risks

When introducing DWH systems, a number of problems can arise and impair CRM success. But many can be prevented by a professional education and planning phase. The following points should be observed:

Realistic planning

Comprehensive planning should come first when implementing a DWH. This includes:
✔ the establishment of a realistic time and budget plan
✔ the exact determination of all resources required for the implementation
✔ the consideration of maintenance-related costs and time expenditure

Failure to observe these points can result in considerable financial damage.

Correct data basis

The correct selection of the data sources to supply a DWH is crucial for the formation of a sensible basis for decision-making. It is important to use only high-quality data and to ensure a constant supply of up-to-date data. Linking wrong data sources or using outdated data can lead to fatally wrong decisions in the support processes.

Correct interpretation

Even with the best DWH systems, the data can be misinterpreted. As a result, customers can be flooded with information that is irrelevant to them. In this case, it is essential to identify the error as quickly as possible and to adjust the data manually in the CRM system in order to avoid further damage.

Profound introduction to users

Proper training of employees is a basic requirement when introducing new systems in order to be able to use them efficiently. A lack of knowledge in handling the software can quickly lead to frustration and lead to reduced productivity and wrong decisions.

Conclusion: data warehouse

If configured correctly, the data warehouse is an asset to any company that wants to master the flood of data and create a basis for strategic decisions. However, a data warehouse only develops its full potential in connection with CRM and ERP systems. Ideally, the business and customer-specific data are compared, which are stored in processed form in the data warehouse and ensure an optimal database. Modern ERP systems have already integrated a CRM and data warehouse and allow a meaningful evaluation of the operating data.