5 Steps to Designing an Enterprise-Ready Data Warehouse in AWS

The right approach to an enterprise-ready data warehouse architecture is fundamental to your organization. If you want to become data-enabled, start a data-driven transformation program or grow your organization using data, data warehousing modeling, consulting, and business intelligence tools can be a massive asset to your business.

Today, we're sharing a deep dive into some core components you need to build a successful enterprise-ready data warehouse in AWS.

What is an enterprise data warehouse?

An enterprise data warehouse (EDW) is a large, centralized data repository that supports an organization's reporting and analysis needs. It is built to integrate data from multiple sources and to provide a single version of the truth for the entire organization.

An EDW typically has scalability, performance, data integration, quality, governance, security, accessibility, and flexibility. Large organizations often use these data warehouses to handle large amounts of data and support complex reporting and analysis requirements.

What are the benefits of using a data warehouse?

  1. Informed decision-making: Data warehouses provide a single version of the truth, making it easier to understand and analyze the data, which leads to better business decisions.
  2. Centralized data storage: A data warehouse allows you to store all your organization's data in a single, centralized operational database, making it easier to manage and access.
  3. Improved data quality: Data warehousing analytics tools and techniques can be used to clean, transform, and standardize data, improving the overall quality of the data.
  4. Increased data accessibility: Data warehouses make it easy for business users and business analysts to access and analyze data, regardless of where it is stored or in what format it is in.
  5. Better performance: Data warehouses are optimized for reading and querying large amounts of data to handle complex queries and large data sets more efficiently than traditional databases.
  6. Scalability: With a data warehouse, it is possible to scale up as the amount of data grows, to ensure continued performance and accessibility.
  7. Cost-effective: Data warehousing solutions like Amazon Redshift allow a pay-as-you-go pricing model, which helps organizations be cost-effective and eliminates the need for upfront investments for hardware and software.

Can you build an enterprise data warehouse in AWS?

Yes. It is possible to build an enterprise data warehouse in AWS using various services such as Amazon Redshift, Amazon RDS, and Amazon S3. Amazon Redshift is a fully managed data warehouse service that can handle petabyte-scale data warehousing and big data analytics workloads. 

Amazon RDS can be used to set up a relational database as the data source for the data warehouse, while Amazon S3 can be used to store and retrieve data for the data warehouse. Additionally, AWS Glue and AWS Lake Formation can be used for data cataloging and ETL processes.

What is the data warehouse tool offered by AWS?

AWS offers a data warehouse tool called Amazon Redshift. It is a fully managed, petabyte-scale data warehouse service in the cloud that allows users to quickly set up, operate, and scale a data warehouse that is highly available and durable, with a pay-as-you-go pricing model. 

Amazon Redshift is designed to integrate with other AWS services, such as Amazon S3, Amazon EMR, and Amazon QuickSight, making it easy to load, query, and analyze data in your data warehouse. Additionally, it supports a variety of data warehousing and big data analytics use cases, including reporting, analytics, data warehousing, and business intelligence.

What are the key steps to designing a data warehouse?

Setting up data warehouse models with business analysts like WCI can be fast and straightforward. 

Step 1: Determine Core Business requirements and sources: This is the first and most crucial step in designing a data warehouse. It involves identifying the key business requirements and objectives that the data warehouse is expected to support. This step also includes identifying the data sources used to populate the data warehouse. These sources include transactional systems, external data feeds, and other data warehouses.

Step 2: Collect and Analyze the Information: This step involves collecting data from the identified sources and analyzing it to understand the data structure, relationships, and quality. Data profiling and data discovery tools can be used to understand the data better and identify any issues that need to be addressed.

Step 3: Identify Core Business Processes: This step involves identifying the core business processes that the data warehouse will support, such as reporting, analytics, and data mining. This will help determine the required data elements and the type of data that must be stored in the data warehouse.

Step 4: Design and Construct a Data Layer: This step involves designing the logical and physical data models for the data warehouse. This includes determining the appropriate data structures, relationships, and storage methodologies. This step also involves creating the necessary database schemas, tables, and views to support the data warehouse.

Step 5: Plan Data Movement and Transformations: This step involves planning how data will be moved from the source systems to the data warehouse and how it will be transformed to meet the requirements of the data warehouse. This includes designing the extract, transform, and load (ETL) processes and creating the necessary mappings, workflows, and jobs to support the data movement and transformations.

Getting The Most from Your Data

To get the most out of using a data warehouse, it is essential to define precise business requirements, collect and analyze data from various sources, identify core business processes, design and construct a data layer that meets those requirements, and plan data movement and transformations. It is also essential to have a well-designed and well-implemented data governance plan that includes data quality, security, and compliance. 

You also need a skilled team with experience in data warehousing, data modeling, ETL, and data analysis to ensure that the data warehouse is properly designed, implemented, and maintained. Regular monitoring and performance tuning are also essential to ensure that the data warehouse runs efficiently and effectively. 

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