There are several methods to learn data warehousing, including self paced and classroom oriented. This article covers the books and training programs you need to independently learn data warehousing.
What is Data Warehousing?
A data warehouse is a central location where consolidated information from various databases are held. It is maintained separately from a company’s operational database, and often used as a backup so end users can access the data whenever they need.
The difference between operational data and a data warehouse is that operational data comes from multiple sources, and it is where the original, legacy, and real time data is held, before sending it out to the data warehouse. End users do not have access to operational data, only data sent to the warehouse.
Data warehouses are not products that companies can purchase. They are something that needs to be designed to meet company needs, and typically contain four properties:
- Subject-oriented. Data is categorized and held by subject instead of application.
- Integrated. Data is collected from multiple sources (multiple databases) and held in a single place.
- Time-variant. Data is stored as a series of snapshots of time.
- Non-volatile. Data updates or deletions are not recommended.
What is Data Warehousing Used for?
Data Warehousing is one of the most important activities and subsets of business intelligence, which is the activity that contributes to the growth of any company, and essentially consists of four steps:
- Data gathering
- Data analysis
- Business action
Imagine a company having multiple data sources like Oracle, SQL, or SAP. The company would not initially be able to visualize the data collected since it is all separated. The data collected in the three different sources would have to be integrated and processed into a data warehouse first to be able to make visualizations.
Types of Data Warehousing
There are three different types of data warehousing, data mart, operational, and enterprise. Below we will briefly go over these types and describe how they function.
Enterprise Data Warehousing
This type of data warehouse encompasses everything we have discussed about them so far in the article, such as data classification by subjects and the bringing of data together from all sources of an enterprise or organization.
The goal of this type of data warehouse is to provide a complete overview of any object in the data model. This means that after all information is gathered by the enterprise data warehouse, people from within the organization can help identify patterns to focus on to help the business grow.
Operational Data Store Warehousing
Operational data stores are sometimes subject oriented and time variant, helping in the storing of transactional data that comes from one or multiple production systems and loosely integrating it.
This form of data warehousing achieves integration by making use of the structures and contents found in enterprise data warehouses. This integration process involves checking business rules for integrity and redundancy.
A data mart is a subset of a data warehouse. It is easy to implement and very cost effective when compared with a complete data warehouse because data is divided into parts and it can also be more easily controlled.
This type of data warehouse has three different types: dependent, independent, and hybrid. A dependent data mart requires the ability to fetch data from an operational data store. An independent data mart does not require this or any central data warehouse. And hybrid data marts are used when inputs from different sources are a part of a data warehouse.
How Long Does It Take to Learn Data Warehousing Techniques?
Learning data warehousing can take as little as one week for those with a background in IT development, while those with little to no background in tech can take up to seven months to learn data warehousing.
The Best Data Warehousing Courses and Trainings
The three data warehousing courses below require no prerequisites. The Coursera and Edureka options mentioned below are also flexible in terms of self paced learning.
However, please be sure to visit your local college or university to inquire about in-person classes to see if they’re affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Online Data Warehousing Courses
Attending an online course is ideal at the moment due to the pandemic. Below are the recommended courses for you to take to learn data warehousing.
- Start Date: On Demand (7 months)
- Prerequisites: none
- Free or $49/month
This Coursera specialization on Data Warehousing encompasses five courses:
- Database Management Essentials
- Data Warehouse Concepts, Design, and Data Integration
- Relational Database Support for Data Warehouses
- Business Intelligence Concepts, Tools, and Applications
- Design and Build a Data Warehouse for Business Intelligence Implementation
This specialization is taught by two business professors from the University of Colorado, with hands-on project and certification upon completion. Students can pay the tuition cost of $49 per month to obtain a certificate, but learning without the obtainment of the certification is free.
- February 23, 2021 (12 weeks)
- Prerequisites: none
- Free or $499
This edX course is taught by professors from Indiana University. It covers how to design data warehouses and business intelligence systems, as well as relational databases.
A text book on Modern Database Management is recommended to students attending this course. Also, consider obtaining the course’s certification if you plan to apply for a job at a company.
- Start Date: On Demand
- Prerequisites: none
This course is highly rated by students. It focuses strictly on data warehousing and business intelligence subjects. The instructor also has a sneak peek video you can access to gain familiarity on the course and the teaching style.
Students here implement what they learn at the end of this course through a project before earning a certification.
Data Warehousing Books
The books shared below cover a wide range of data warehousing topics within the industry, some for those with experience in the field, though with concept definition, one with any level of background should be able to gain value from the books below.
‘Data Warehousing Fundamentals for IT Professionals’, Paulraj Ponniah
This book is written for IT professionals working with or studying information management. It covers the topics on planning, designing, deployment, and ongoing maintenance of data warehousing. This book also contains questions and exercises at the end of each chapter for self-study work, as well as real-world industry situations.
Author Paulraj Ponniah has over 30 years of experience in IT consulting and has worked with major companies like Panasonic and Texaco. He specializes in design and the implementation of data warehousing and database systems.
‘Big Data: Concepts, Warehousing, and Analytics’, Maribel Santos and Carlos Costa
This book focuses on the models, methods, design, and implementation for Big Data Warehousing (BDW), which is an emerging concept that can be potentially used as a replacement for the traditional data warehouse.
The authors of this book are technology educators and researchers on data warehousing.
‘Data Integration in Data Warehousing’, Kareem Ghany
This book focuses on one of the top problems in data warehousing: data integration. This book is based on research of different software integration systems to illustrate the details of its case study.
Data Warehousing Certifications
The paid version of the online courses covered in this article all offer certification on data warehousing. Below is a list of additional certification options for those already familiar with the subject.
This Microsoft certification is for data warehouse and ETL (extract, transform and load) developers. To prep for this exam, Microsoft offers a practice test for $109.
Online Data Warehousing Resources
There are several free and paid for resources available on data warehousing. Below are the two most popular ones among DW developers.
This resource gives you experience by letting you create, connect, load data. Microsoft Azure’s Dedicated SQL Pool is a cloud based data solution. It is also a hands on training guide with sections on concept definitions, how tos, and additional resources within itself.
Users can build apps with the platforms ML tools and store different types of structured and unstructured data.
BigQuery is another cloud based data solution and excellent resource for data warehousing. It also offers similar guides and how tos like Microsoft’s solution, with tutorials on how to use the product as an addition.
Should You Study Data Warehousing?
Data warehousing is utilized across many business sectors. Knowledge in the topic benefits data scientists and business leaders alike. Anyone working in a leadership position should learn data warehousing.
Data warehouse professionals earn an average of $102,000 per year. Learning the fundamentals of this topic is the first step in your transition to be highly paid.
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