One of the most important tools at the disposal of successful businesses is that of business intelligence and analytics. Being able to analyze present and past data is vital to developing a business plan that can take a company or business entity into the future. In order to complete this analysis, a data warehouse is required. A data warehouse is a repository of data from a host of sources, all dealing with the business at hand. In a retail corporation, for example, the data warehouse can store information ranging from what products sold and when to results of customer satisfaction surveys to business expenses over a given period of time. The data stored in the data warehouse can then be used to run analytics and develop a plan for the future.
Using the aforementioned example, an analytical report can be created to see which products a company sold most of in the days leading up to the Super Bowl. This information can be utilized by a marketing team to develop sales fliers and advertising campaigns for that particular time of the year. Similarly, an analytical report can be created to compare customer satisfaction survey results with allocated personnel hours; this information can be used to justify an increase or reduction in human resources expenses. In order for a data warehouse to be successful, the contents need to be retrieved and analyzed with ease; as such, the data needs to be catalogued, streamlined, and made available to all relevant parties to ensure the best possible results.