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It’s not news to say that business decision-making revolves around company data. Data warehouses are also important to management and analysis of that information. However, if you’re not in the business of producing data warehouses or have any direct experience as a consumer, the questions of who, what, when, where, why, and how might become overwhelming quickly. Who manages a data warehouse — IT? What does it look like? When should we be evaluating whether or not we need a Business Intelligence (BI) data store? Where does it go — on-premises or in the cloud? Why would we choose a data warehouse over other BI data stores? We know that these questions are just the beginning for Dynamics AX customers. This article will discuss the business of addressing the specifics of data warehousing to enhance your Microsoft Dynamics AX experience, including modern features and functionalities, so you can decide the best data storage for your team.
Let’s start with installation and automation for a data warehouse. Out of the box, a data warehouse has nothing in it. It doesn’t automatically come with Dynamics AX or other data source information already installed, so the first order of business involves a consultant, with expertise in extract, transfer, and loading (ETL), who will set up your data warehouse and automate the ETL process of your data from AX and other programs. Next up: a consultant, who knows best practices for streamlining, expediting, and maximizing your financial reporting, budgeting, and/or dashboard processes, will come in to assist you in querying data from your new data warehouse. Once setup and training is complete, data warehouses can be managed by business professionals, as opposed to IT team members.
Let’s define it: a data warehouse is a multi-dimensional database. Simply, data warehouses are databases that are digital, meaning that they are hosted on either their own server or on a shared server. Just as a point of reference, external and internal hard drives are platforms that invite you to store diverse file types, applications, and/or software in one space, and modern data warehouses empower businesses to house multiple kinds of transactional and operational information in one place. Another way to think about a data warehouse: it is similar to a multi-dimensional Excel spreadsheet in that you can keep track of your transactions and operations in aggregated, intuitive, and dynamic ways, including filters and built-in organization that empower you to avoid error in an accessible, easy to use interface.
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