Thursday, 28 June 2012

Datawarehouse and DataMart:Definition & Difference

Data warehousing and Data mart are tools used in data storage.With passage of time, small companies become big & this is when they realize that they have amassed huge amounts of data in various departments of the organization. Every department has its own database that works well for that department. But when organizations intend to sort data from various departments for sales, marketing or making plans for future, the process is referred to as Data Mining. Data Warehousing and Data Marts are two tools that help companies in this regard. Just what the difference between data warehousing and data marts is and how they compare with each other is what this article intends to explain.

Data Warehousing
A data warehouse is a collection of data marts representing historical data from different operations in the company. This data is stored in a structure optimized for querying and data analysis as a data warehouse. Table design, dimensions and organization should be consistent throughout a data warehouse so that reports or queries across the data warehouse are consistent. A data warehouse can also be viewed as a database for historical data from different functions within a company.This is the place where all the data of a company is stored. It is actually a very fast computer system having a large storage capacity. It contains data from all the departments of the company where it is constantly updated to delete redundant data. This tool can answer all complex queries pertaining data.

Data Mart
A data mart is a segment of a data warehouse that can provide data for reporting and analysis on a section, unit, department or operation in the company, e.g. sales, payroll, production. Data marts are sometimes complete individual data warehouses which are usually smaller than the corporate data warehouse.It is an indexing and extraction system. Instead of putting the data from all the departments of a company into a warehouse, data mart contains database of separate departments and can come up with information using multiple databases when asked.
IT managers of any growing company are always confused as to whether they should make use of data marts or instead switch over to the more complex and more expensive data warehousing. These tools are easily available in the market, but pose a dilemma to IT managers.

Difference between Data Warehousing and Data Mart
It is important to note that there are huge differences between these two tools though they may serve same purpose. Firstly, data mart contains programs, data, software and hardware of a specific department of a company. There can be separate data marts for finance, sales, production or marketing. All these data marts are different but they can be coordinated. Data mart of one department is different from data mart of another department, and though indexed, this system is not suitable for a huge data base as it is designed to meet the requirements of a particular department.
Data Warehousing is not limited to a particular department and it represents the database of a complete organization. The data stored in data warehouse is more detailed though indexing is light as it has to store huge amounts of information. It is also difficult to manage and takes a long time to process. It implies then that data marts are quick and easy to use, as they make use of small amounts of data. Data warehousing is also more expensive because of the same reason.
• Data mart and data warehousing are tools to assist management to come up with relevant information about the organization at any point of time
• While data marts are limited for use of a department only, data warehousing applies to an entire organization
• Data marts are easy to design and use while data warehousing is complex and difficult to manage
• Data warehousing is more useful as it can come up with information from any department


  1. I think you should stress that a DW must be consistent across different subject areas. that is both a major hurdle a a major value of having the DW, not only a set of data marts.

  2. So datawarehouse and datamart do differ in many things. You've said the datamart limits only on the department. Meanwhile the datawarehouse is all about the organization. Very well said, I will keep those in my mind. Thanks for posting this one.

  3. Hi, thank you for these useful tips.

  4. many thanks, this was very much helpful

  5. thank you for above answer...

  6. Helpful need picture representation also

  7. cool awsome and very helpful i had a paper

  8. So, according to this we can create dimensionally related various departmental datamarts and can still connect them together, to fetch the overall organizational data.
    However, I feel, why not work with datamarts as they are fast and resourceful, also in case of emerging organizations where it eventually takes decades to transform into large organizations?
    Also, as the BI tools are being more efficient and automated, can't they work without a dataware house, even at the advent of increasing data??


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