Today’s business environment is very data driven and more companies are hoping to create competitive advantage over other business organization competitors by creating a system whereby they can assess the current status of their operations any at any given moment and at the same time, they can also analyze trends and patterns within the company operation and its relation to the trends and patterns of the industry in a truly up-to-date fashion.
The establishment of one large data warehouse addresses the demand for up-to-date information reflecting the trends and patterns of the business operations and its relation to the large world of the industry where the company is doing business in. A data warehouse is not just a repository of historical and current transactional data of a business enterprise; it also serves as an analytical tool (in conjunction with a business intelligence system) to give a fairly accurate picture of the company.
Business companies vary in structure. Some Business companies are composed only of a few departments focused on the core business functions such as finance, admin and human resources. Some companies are big and their the scope of the operation is very wide which may include manufacturing, raw materials purchasing, purchasing and many others.
As the company grows, so will its need for data. While a data warehouse is itself an expensive investment, it is not uncommon to see one big organizational company implementing several different functional data warehouses working together in a large information system to function as an Enterprise Data Warehouse.
In large business organizations where there are several departmental divisions, the Enterprise Data Warehouse is broken down into Functional Data Warehouse. Depending on the size of the company and their financial capability, a Functional Data Warehouse may serve on department or may server more. There are also companies that have branches in many different geographic locations around the globe and their Enterprise Data Warehouse may set up differently with different clustering for Functional Data Warehouses.
Despite the breaking down of Enterprise Data Warehouse into several Functional Data Warehouses, each of these warehouses is basically the same. Each of them still defined to be “a subject-oriented, integrated, time-variant and non-volatile collection of data in support of management’s decision making process or a collection of decision support technologies, aimed at enabling the knowledge worker to make better and faster decisions”.
Breaking down the Enterprise Data Warehouse into several Functional Data Warehouses can have many big benefits. Since the organization as a data driven enterprise deals with very high level volumes of data, having separate Functional Data Warehouses distributes the load and compartmentalize the processes. With this set up, there will no way the whole information system will break down because if there is a glitch in one of the functional data warehouses, only that certain point will have to be temporarily halted while being fixed. As opposed to one monolithic data warehouse setup, if the central database breaks down, the whole system will suffer.
Having Functional Data Warehouses will also ensure that data integrity and security is maintained because each department or the group of departments represented by the Functional Data Warehouse will have a sense of ownership and responsibility. This also means that if there is a problem with the Functional Data Warehouse, it will be easy to pinpoint the responsible department or individual representing the department maintaining the Functioning Data Warehouse.