The goal of online data warehouses is the centralization of information in a non-volatile standardized system that is accessible to all relevant employees for making decisions. They also provide a historical archive of data and act as an unifying source of truth that allows users to analyze data from different sources without relying on outdated data.

When it comes to selecting the appropriate architecture, platform and tools for the data warehouse, there are many things to consider. For example should the warehouse be installed on-premises or in the cloud? Should it use extract, transform and load (ETL) or direct-to-database integration? How often should data be refreshed? What data capture capabilities be used to collect updates and feed them into the warehouse? The organization’s business use cases should be the primary determinant in the selection of suitable technologies.

A bicycle manufacturer, for instance, may use its data store to understand the actual customer preferences. It could find that women over 50 comprise the majority of its customers and may be interested in finding out more about the places where these customers prefer to purchase bicycles. This information can help the company improve its marketing and development efforts.

A team of IT professionals could utilize their data warehouse as a tool to support auditing processes and regulatory compliance by providing historical records that can be analyzed. This can save the organization valuable time and resources in these processes, by removing unnecessary duplicates of data.