Managing and utilizing large amounts of data – both structured and unstructured – to make smart business decisions, is easier said than done. Organizations need to get the maximum value/returns from their data to make real-time decisions. To facilitate this, the data mart approach, which stores content or information that belongs to a specific department or subject or area of operation in a company, can be beneficial. It contains clearly-defined and curated data, which reduces the amount of information to be handled and used to make informed business decisions.
Data Mart is a subset of a Data Warehouse
There are many ways that companies can store their information, which empowers them to analyze the data and make decisions based on hard facts. A data warehouse stores large volumes of data and information of the entire organization, whereas, a data mart is a subgroup or a subset of the data that is often contained in the warehouse. If a data warehouse comprises information of the production, operations, research and development, accounting and finance, and sales and marketing departments/teams in a company, each data mart will typically house information regarding a particular department/team. For example, the sales figures of a specific business unit are the type of information which will be stored in a data mart as compared to the sales figures of all departments, which will be stored in a data warehouse. A data mart is, therefore, limited in its scope and application and can be created using existing information in a data warehouse. However, a data mart can also be developed using other/external sources of information, which is not stored in the warehouse.
Advantages of developing a Data Mart
- A data warehouse will have limited access. A data mart, on the other hand, can be developed and maintained by a single department.
- Since data marts have information about a specific subject or department, it is easier to find and retrieve relevant data, thereby saving time and resources
- It allows users to have access to the type of data they need to refer to or frequently review without having to wait for an extended period. This enables decision-makers to get answers on time. Quicker response time is essential as the business environment is dynamic and how fast a company can react will give them an edge over the competition.
- Since a data mart stores limited content, it is easier to develop and cheaper to maintain