Data Warehouse Tools
The business intelligence tools that can help bring a company to the next level include several types of data warehouse tools. These tools allow a company to make better decisions for future projects and directions as well as maximize their effectiveness with their current resources. Business intelligence tools are various types of application softwares that generally are used in conjunction with a data warehouse and through a data mart. By using these tools, businesses can maximize the usefulness of their data warehouse as well as grow and expand their business horizons.
In order to use data warehouse tools it is important to understand which tools will be the most effective. The different tools have slightly different advantages and disadvantages as well as different uses and results. Also, some of these softwares can be modified by skilled program writers. Certain types of software are open-source and thus can be modified to fit specific needs. Others have fewer customizable options and must really fit a business’s needs in order to be useful. There are a few open source products that are available for free and these can be useful for some organizations if they have employees who can customize the software for their needs. It is important to make sure that these free softwares will have the full capabilities needed for the tasks a business will use them for.
Other important tools for the effective use of data warehouses include the ETL tools. These specialized tools make it possible for software to transmit data to data warehouses and to data marts along with other storage areas. The ETL process is otherwise known as the Extract, Transform, and Load process. This means that it facilitates the extraction of data from outside sources, the transformation of that data into a format that fits operational needs such as quality levels and formats, and also loading that data into the end target which can be a database or a data warehouse. Extracting is one of the most important as well as one of the trickiest parts of the process as the data must be extracted correctly in order to have any real use or value later on. The extraction process puts the data into a format that the data warehouse can use to organize and then redistribute the information to other sources. The transform stage encodes the data so that it can reach its target database correctly, which includes importing only some columns and not others or ignoring certain types of records. Finally, the load stage takes the sorted data and puts it into the end target, which in this case is usually the data warehouse.
OLAP tools are specifically in the category of business intelligence tools. OLAP tools are used for business reporting of sales, budgeting and forecasting budgets, as well as other financial reports. It can also be used for other types of data review. These types of tools take information stored in data warehouses and put it together so that it is more easily interpreted. The advantage of OLAP is that it is interactive. OLAP stands for Online Analytical Processing, which is fitting as it is in fact live and interactive. It takes data and analyses it from multiple perspectives. The basic operations of an OLAP tool includes three major components. The first is consolidation, where the data is accumulated and computed in at least one dimension, though it can be computed in a couple of dimensions. The next process, the drill-down, allows the user to go through the details of the data. The user is in control of which directions and perspectives to take, so they can look at the individual sales of an item or of a region. Slicing and dicing is the last process, and this allows for taking a set of data, or slicing it out, and viewing it from different viewpoints, which is dicing. All of these tools give the user a huge variety of perspectives on the information and can make the decisions the company should take very clear.
Oracle Data Warehouse Tools such as Oracle Warehouse Builder, also known as OWB, is another one of the useful data warehouse tools. This program is primarily an ETL tool and it is produced by the company Oracle. This program allows the user to have a graphical environment to build, manage, and maintain their various data integration processes, or the processes that organize and put information into data warehouses. As a business intelligence tool, OWB works to allow the data warehouse to function at its maximum. OWB is primarily used for consolidating data. It takes various types of data and sifts through them to find the similar data types, and then takes them and puts them in the data warehouse in an organized manner. It also allows for some data modeling. OWB allows the user to model the data in relational, dimensional, and metadata ways. Also it alows for data profiling, data auditing, and data cleansing. These features allow Oracle to help with duplicate data and incomplete data.
The various data warehousing tools available can help businesses advance to the next level because they allow for new and productive ways of viewing business data. These different perspectives allow business owners to view their company in terms of data and this allows them to make informed decisions about where to go with their company. It is important to know the functions of data warehouse tools as they can be invaluable as a business intelligence tool.