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June 30, 2009

Customer Data Integration vs Data Warehouse: the Difference

Filed under: Data Integration, Data Warehousing — Tags: , — Olga Belokurskaya @ 11:51 pm

The extensive world of enterprise data is quite tricky; however, it’s very important to clearly distinguish all the solutions used when dealing with data.

As customers are very important for any company, customer data is among the greatest company’s assets. In fact, customer data integration (CDI) solutions are to deliver the fullest information about customers.

However, as CDI is a software solution, and, in fact, is a clearinghouse for data synchronization and deployment, it is inevitably compared to data warehouses. There are several reasons of this confusion:

  • the aim of both solutions is to accommodate clean, meaningful information to the enterprise
  • both solutions are undoubtedly beneficial for business
  • both demand a solid partnership of business and IT

This confusion is risky, for these solutions differ in term of their positioning as well as in term of their usage. According to Jill Dyché one of the most acknowledged BI experts:

Data warehouses are designed and built to support business intelligence, and are meant for use by business people. Best practice data warehouses are those that have been planned around a set of business requirements that inform a series of applications—we call this the BI Portfolio—that are deployed incrementally to the business over time.

CDI, however, is purpose-built for operational data integration. The CDI hub is the ultimate home of customer master data that has been matched, reconciled, and certified, and is available to a series of business applications and systems (not end users). Unlike the data warehouse, which usually stores historical detail, summarized data, and time-variant information, the CDI hub stores or points to certified master data about a customer.

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