Although there are many forms of data warehouse software available, the most effective solutions share certain commonalities:
- Software should feature the right tools.
Although different organizations will likely have different specific needs, most businesses will benefit from data warehouse software that features a core tool set, namely a database, data extraction (ETL), and business intelligence (BI). Other tools such as data modeling and data cleansing may also be beneficial.
- Should be easy to integrate.
As data warehouse software is designed to work as an intermediary between a data warehouse and a business, it is especially important that the software be easy to integrate into existing systems. Easy integration will not only allow for higher-quality solutions, but will also ensure higher adoption rates among users.
- Have flexibility and adaptability.
Every organization is unique, and has unique needs. An effective data warehouse software solution should be able to adapt to those needs, rather than force the organization to adapt to it. Additionally, in business, organizations themselves must be able to adapt to unforeseen changes in the market; if a data warehouse software solution is not flexible enough to adapt along with the business, then it will likely slow down the entire process, potentially costing the business valuable time, effort, and money.
- With an option to be scalable.
As organizations grow, the need for a data warehouse software solution does not diminish, it increases. As such, the software solution should be scalable, in order to remain effective.
- The data warehouse software should be fast.
One of the key advantages of real-time business analytics is that the information being reviewed and employed is completely current. Data warehouse software needs to be able to analyze and retrieve information as quickly as possible, otherwise, the advantage of having up-to-the-minute accuracy in data is negated.
- Able to handle the right amount of data.
Not every organization needs to be able to organize and analyze petabytes of data, but there are those that do. The right data warehouse software solution should be able to function properly in the correct data range for whichever organization adopts it.
- Create easily-accessible reports and visuals.
Simply being able to analyze data is not enough if leaders and other decision makers are unable to grasp the takeaways that analysis produces. Clear, attractive reports that highlight important data and help users understand that data and any important conclusions help bring information directly to those who are empowered to use it. Simple, digestible visuals (such as live dashboards) perform a similar function.
- Should have the ability to be in the cloud.
While a cloud based option may not be required by everyone, having the option of choosing between a cloud based or on-premise system, will allow you the flexibility to find the best solution for you. Consider the pros and cons of each before deciding. Consider the resources each would need, technical maintenance, and overall support required.