What is an
Enterprise Data Warehouse?
Author: Chip Hartney (The Datamology Company)
First written: Long ago
Last updated: January 15, 2024
In this article, I share my definition of an enterprise data warehouse (which I believe is commonly agreed upon by industry practitioners).
An enterprise data warehouse (EDW) is a collection of data assets that support a business's enterprise-level decision-making processes.
Traditionally, an EDW is:
· Subject-oriented: Organized by subjects relevant to the business.
· Integrated: Combines data from conflicting and disparate sources into useful data assets.
· Non-volatile: Provides consistent results across system time.
· Time-variant: Represents reality across business time.
I remember this with the unoriginal and admittedly unintuitive acronym of SINT.
The industry-accepted goals of a data warehouse include:
· Data from across the enterprise (and beyond) is integrated into a single version of the truth.
· The data is organized in a subject-oriented manner that is meaningful to the org.
· Data values are captured as they change over time to support time-based analysis.
· The history of the data changes is non-volatile to maintain consistency in reporting.
· Data is maintained at a sufficiently granular form to enable any future reporting needs.
· Data lineage is clear and auditable.
· The architecture is scalable.
· Changes to the data warehouse can be made in an agile manner.
· Metadata is available to aid consumers of the data.