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Big Data Solutions vs. Traditional Data Warehouse

  Jay Cardin     May 12, 2016


Organizations are currently faced with a cloud computing dilemma: should you use big data solutions or stick with the traditional data warehouse? If you choose the wrong platform to handle your company’s workload, you may find yourself shelling out hundreds or thousands of dollars in frivolous fees. Let’s take a look into what big data and the data warehouse can offer to help you determine which option is right for your organization.

What is Big Data?

big data statsWhile some may think big data is a scary, vast new frontier, seasoned IT pros know it is just a new name for the data marketers have traditionally relied upon. Big data is something to be embraced and used as a tool for discovery, analysis, and disaster recovery. [click to tweet]

Collect as much information as you can from internal and external sources to gain a bigger picture and get the most value out of the data available to your organization.


What is a Data Warehouse?

There are differing definitions of data warehousing, but generally two approaches are agreed upon by the industry: the Kimball approach and the Immon approach. Here is a breakdown of the two:

  • Ralph Kimball’s Method: Building from the bottom-up, Kimball first creates dimensional data marts. He uses these as a structure to view and analyze each transaction, and this can later be integrated into a larger warehouse of data.

“The data warehouse is nothing more than the union of all the data marts" - Kimball

  • Bill Immon’s Method: Known as a top-down approach, Immon first designs and creates a normalized data model, then inserts necessary data and framework for running business processes and creating categorized departments. His principle operates under the expectation that the data warehouse is non-volatile, subject-oriented, time-variant and fully integrated.

“You can catch all the minnows in the ocean and stack them together and they still do not make a whale." - Immon

Which is Right for You?

At WEI, we are here to help you make the most informed decisions possible to meet your company’s needs and we believe the best big data solutions are custom-tailored for each company. We recently polled IT leaders in a variety of industries and found that 38 percent of companies were faced with a problem an “off the shelf” solution couldn’t fix. [click to tweet]

Next Steps: If you’re among the organizations that are ready to embrace new technologies and beef up your creative strategies, check out our white paper, "Backup and Disaster Recovery for the Cloud Generation."


1. IDG Research commissioned by WEI. September 2015 

Tags  big data IT Strategy storage

Jay Cardin

Written by Jay Cardin

Jay Cardin is a Pre-Sales Solutions Architect here at WEI. His specialties include server virtualization, storage systems and backup and recovery systems. He collaborates with WEI sales executives and network engineers to develop the ideal custom solution for each client. WEI’s commitment to education continues with Jay as he conducts Veeam Backup and Recovery training workshops each quarter for WEI customers. Jay holds several certifications for Veeam, Microsoft, EMC, and VMware.

About WEI

WEI is an innovative, full service, customer-centric IT solutions provider. We're passionate about solving your technology challenges and we develop custom technology solutions that drive real business outcomes.

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