Data Warehouse Architectures - Data Warehousing

Data warehouses and their architectures vary depending upon the specifics of an organization's situation. Three common architectures are:

  • Data Warehouse Architecture (Basic)
  • Data Warehouse Architecture (with a Staging Area)
  • Data Warehouse Architecture (with a Staging Area and Data Marts)

Data Warehouse Architecture(Basic)

Figure shows a simple architecture for a data warehouse. End users directly access data derived from several source systems through the data warehouse.

Architecture of a Data Warehouse with a Staging Area

Architecture of a Data Warehouse with a Staging Area

In Figure, the metadata and raw data of a traditional OLTP system is present, as is an additional type of data, summary data. Summaries are very valuable in data warehouses because they pre-compute long operations in advance. For example, a typical data warehouse query is to retrieve something such as August sales. A summary in an Oracle database is called a materialized view.

Data Warehouse Architecture (with a Staging Area)

In Figure, you need to clean and process your operational data before putting it into the warehouse. You can do this programmatically, although most data warehouses use a staging area instead. A staging area simplifies building summaries and general warehouse management. The following figure illustrates this typical architecture.

Data Warehouse Architecture (with a Staging Area)

Data Warehouse Architecture (with a Staging Area)

Data Warehouse Architecture (with a Staging Area and Data Marts)
Although the architecture in Figure is quite common, you may want to customize your warehouse's architecture for different groups within your organization. You can do this by adding data marts, which are systems designed for a particular line of business. The following figure illustrates an example where purchasing, sales, and inventories are separated. In this example, a financial analyst might want to analyze historical data for purchases and sales.

Data Warehouse Architecture (with a Staging Area and Data Marts)

Note: Data marts are an important part of many data warehouses, but they are not the focus of this book.


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