What's a Data Warehouse?

Your business is growing,
and so are your questions.

Now you’re at a point where you want to know things like:


What is my advertising return on investment by channel?


Are my customer support initiatives improving my customer lifetime value (CLV)?


Are customers acquired through inbound or outbound marketing more likely to churn?

Why you need a data warehouse

To answer these, you need to analyze data from multiple sources. You thought that your business intelligence tool would “connect” all of your data sources and allow you to visualize them on a single dashboard. But as your questions begin to get more complex, reality is setting in. Pulling your separate data streams into one dashboard isn’t the same as being able to do real cross-domain analysis.

Enter the data warehouse

A data warehouse is a single central location unifying your data. Building your analytics around a data warehouse gives you a powerful, centralized, and fast source of data.

To build a data warehouse, you first need to copy the raw data from each of your data sources, cleanse, and optimize it. The process of getting data into a data warehouse is called ETL: Extract, Transform, Load. Here’s the SparkNotes version:

This sounds like an ambitious undertaking, and it is. Keep in mind, when you’re first starting out, you absolutely do not need a data warehouse. However, as you grow and become more data-driven, you will start pushing at the limits of the kinds of analysis you can do. Here are the signs that it’s time:

Companies at different stages of growth need very different data infrastructure strategies. When it’s time to move on to something bigger and better, you’ll know.

Why having a data warehouse rocks

Having a data warehouse allows you to make smarter decisions, faster.
Here are some other benefits: