Data Warehousing: The Definition

Data warehousing is a tool that is can be very helpful to a business. Data warehousing allows companies to gather information about their customers, put it together and store it in one place so that queries can be made based on certain criteria requested by the company. It is also known as an Information Warehouse. A company may want to know the age and gender of the people purchasing their products from a certain postal code, and this can be provided through the information contained in a data warehouse.

Information Stored In Databases

The purpose of a data warehouse is to bring all the information from various places together in one spot. Some of the information stored in a warehouse are:

  • Customer names and addresses
  • E-mail addresses and the cookies that record Web visits to the company's Web site (This can allow a personalized greeting to appear on screen when somebody visits the website, also can bring you right to favorite items.)
  • History of every purchase transaction (recording good and bad communication with a customer can make future transactions smoother)
  • History of customer interactions, such as inquiries, complaints, and returns
  • Results of any customer surveys
  • Preferences and profiles supplied by the customer
  • Marketing promotions and response history from marketing campaigns[1]


There are many reasons a company may want to invest in a data warehousing project. The ability to run reports and analyze data quickly when before the database would have been a cumbersome task.

  • Historical information for comparative and competitive analysis
  • Enhanced data quality and completeness
  • Analyzing financial trends
  • Creating slices of data
  • Finding new relationships among the data
  • Drilling down into sales statistics
  • Doing calculations through different dimensions where each category of data (that is, product, location, sales numbers, time period, etc.) is considered a dimension.[2]


Data Warehousing has some disadvantages. It can be a daunting process for companies to begin on their own, especially if these companies don't have their own IT departments.
  • Preparation may be time consuming.
  • Compatibility with existing systems.
  • Security issues.
  • It can also be difficult for a company to maintain a data warehouse.[3]

Benefits of Using Data Warehousing in Marketing [4]

Use of Data Warehousing at YouTube!

An Example of a Government site using a data warehouse to obtain information.

Data Warehousing Information Sites

  1. ^ Integrated Advertising, Promotion, and Marketing Communications
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