What is a data warehouse?

Though it sounds like a very technical term, it basically means that a data warehouse is a huge collection of electronic data about your business. Critical pieces of information are then extracted from this data warehouse to assist with various decision making steps of a business.

Data warehouses for traditional offline businesses

Large companies have a lot of data that they need to keep record of. It is a very complex process where several smaller data collection points add data to a master data warehouse. There is a lot of processing that is done in order to make the individual collections of data compatible with the master data warehouse.

The master data warehouse is then able to provide critical information in an organized and systematic manner which will then help in various decision making processes.

A data warehouse for your online business

You do not have to be alarmed at the thought of having a data warehouse for your online business. If you have a website, you can simply sign up for a ready made analytics system that will act as a data warehouse for your website.

Real time analytics tools are now available that will make the process very simple for you. A simple installation of a script on your website

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will allow you to access your website and see the collection of data in real time. You will be able to login using these tools and see your website in action as it happens.

For example, you will be able to see how many people are currently on your website, what pages they are looking at. This real time data warehousing goes much deeper than that by allowing you to see greater detail of what the visitors are doing. You might see some reading through your site, searching for something in the search box.

You will also be able to see what areas of your website are getting the most amount of interest as and when it happens. This will also allow you identify weaknesses in your website that is causing visitors to leave your website.

This form of active data warehousing is revolutionary in design as it allows you to see data being collected and reported to you in real time. There is absolutely no lag time which means that you have a handle on things when it comes to your site. You will not have to wait for a report that will tell you what happened yesterday. Instead, you can log in, analyze consumer behavior on your site as it happens and then make changes accordingly to get the most out of your website.

These analytic systems are not expensive like the traditional data warehouses that require heavy investments in IT infrastructure or software. Instead, a small monthly fee will give you live access to your website activity as and when it happens.