Data Marts: The Definitive Guide

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Data Marts: The Definitive Guide
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A Data Mart is a repository of data that is typically used by one department or business unit. It usually contains a subset of the data in the enterprise-wide data warehouse and is designed to meet the needs of its specific users. Data Mart allows organizations to maintain smaller, more manageable environments while still leveraging enterprise-wide data sources and tools. =

For instance, ​​All data about the sales department will be stored in the sales data mart. Sales data mart will be a subset of the organization’s data warehouse. Each department can have its own data mart.

With a data mart departments can access data faster and it can be used for analytical purposes. It is isolated from other departments, so security and access are easier to manage.

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Why create data marts?

Data Marts are often created to provide information on specific topics or industries. For organizations, it’s beneficial to create data marts – these are simplified versions of the databases that allow the business to perform faster analysis on specific subsets of information. 

Data Mart only includes data relevant to a specific department, are cost-effective, and provide faster insights by analyzing the data more quickly. Today, most companies build multiple data marts to stay on top of their ever-changing systems and processes.

The main purpose of a Data mart is to provide easy access to relevant data without bogging down database queries, website navigation, or performance due to unnecessary server strain. It also provides users with quick analytical results.

Data Marts: The Definitive Guide

Are data marts and data warehouses the same?

A data mart and a data warehouse are both tools for gathering, storing, and manipulating large volumes of information. But in terms of size and scale, they’re like different breeds of pet: A hamster is to an elephant as a data mart is to a data warehouse. 

The data warehouse serves as an organization’s primary source of business intelligence. It represents the company’s entire data in one place. Data marts are built in accordance with a specific department, whereas data warehouses are built as centralized data storage. Data warehouses contain large amounts of data, including historical data of an organization, while data mart focuses on a single unit of the business such as finance, marketing or human resource, etc. 

So while it may seem like data marts have made traditional warehouses obsolete, that’s not entirely true. Organizations can use them together to create more complete datasets.

Advantages of data marts

In an organization, data mart can deliver significant benefits to data analytics. Because of their distinct relationships with user communities, many organizations find they need multiple types of enterprise data marts to support specific analytic applications. Advantages of data marts includes – 

  • Significantly reduced complexity of the data, improved agility.
  • Employee productivity is increased as a result of quick access to the data.
  • Make data readily available to decision-makers
  • Leads to quick and effective decision-making. 
  • Increase performance, speed, and efficiency of data processing as well as reporting. 
  • Makes data analysis easier.
  • Cost-effective.
  • Improve the efficiency of the data warehouse.
  • It is less cluttered and just contains business-critical data.

Types of Data marts

Data Marts: The Definitive Guide

There are three types of data marts. These include Dependent Data Marts, Independent Data Marts, and Hybrid data marts. 

Dependent Data Mart 

A dependent data mart enables data to be sourced from a single Data Warehouse. Data is stored in a warehouse and extracted when data is needed for analysis. Dependent data marts are dependent on the data warehouses to exact a certain portion of the data when needed.

Independent Data Mart 

An independent data mart is created without the use of a data warehouse. It is a stand-alone system that is not reliant on the organization’s data warehouse.

In an independent data mart, data is exacted from an internal or external source then processed and stored in a data mart for further uses. 

Hybrid Data Mart 

A hybrid Data Mart is a collection of data from an organization’s warehouse as well as other operational data sources. It is a combination of both the dependent and independent forms of data marts. It’s ideal for companies with a lot of databases that need to get jobs done quickly.

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Understanding the Structure of data marts

A data mart and a data warehouse can be structured in snowflake, star, vault schema. 

Among the data mart schemas, the star schema is the most basic and straightforward. It consists of fact tables that index an unlimited number of dimensional tables. Because its form resembles a star, it is referred to as a star schema. 

A snowflake’s schema structure does not exist without a star schema. In snowflake’s dimensional tables are further added. It has multiple dimension tables in normalized form. It is more structured and detailed than the star schema.

Data Marts: The Definitive Guide

Cloud-based data mart solutions

Cloud-based data mart solutions are increasingly becoming more commonplace, thanks to their flexibility and ability to support an ever-growing range of business models. With cloud-based data marts, data access and analytics become much more efficient. It’s in the best interest to stay up to date on how cloud-based data marts can empower businesses.

Advantages of cloud-based data marts include, 

  • Higher availability and reduced hardware costs.
  • Cost-effective and quicker Implementation. 
  • Reduce manual intervention.
  • Information is readily available for use. 
  • Increase efficiency of the workforce. 
  • Architectural adaptability

Overall, having access to scalable storage is beneficial for any organization looking to optimize its workflow processes or expand services.

To summarize, The data mart is an invaluable tool when it comes to optimizing the business’s performance. Once built, businesses will be able to make rapid, accurate decisions without waiting around for important information that could have an impact on the business’s bottom line.

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Hindol Basu 
GM, Voxco Intelligence

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