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Author's profile photo Jessica Nelson

How to Explain Cloud Data Warehousing to Anyone

Cloud data warehousing – it might sound complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Let’s breakdown the basics of what a cloud data warehouse is, so that anyone can understand it.


What is a data warehouse?

Let’s start by learning the business purpose of any data warehouse through a simple business scenario.

Meet Dorothy, the owner of Scoops Ice Cream Parlor. She’s been proudly scooping ice cream for 5 years at an extremely busy location on Yellow Brick Road.  Her store is constantly packed, and she’s wondering what next steps she should take to propel her business forward.

Dorothy collects a lot of data about her business, her customers, and her marketing efforts like the super-scoop membership program. With all this information stored in different places, Dorothy needed a centralized platform to effortlessly manage all the data to take Scoops to the next level.

Behold the data warehouse – a central system where all of Scoops’ data is brought together in one platform. A data warehouse brings all the different sources of information into one consolidated source, processes the information, and prepares it be analyzed for business activities like reporting, visualization, and analysis.


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How can Dorothy use cloud data warehousing in an end-to-end scenario?

A data warehouse is a centralized hub of information that stores and processes data to for further analysis. Dorothy can use a data warehouse to:

  1. Consolidate data: Currently, supply chain, customer relationship management, and finance data are siloed. Data is flowing into each of the silos but there’s not a group conversation happening. In a data warehouse, data sources like her flavor tub inventory, super-scooper profiles, and cone sales data are combined into one consolidated source for easy analysis.
  2. Process the data: A data warehouse can be used transform different types of data into one unified data format, preparing it for quick querying. That way, when Dorothy wants to ask the data warehouse a question like, “how many cones did Scoops sell on average per week in 2019”, it answers near instantaneously.
  3. Gain strategic insights: Now that the data is in one source, Dorothy can create reports, visualize the data in charts, and overall do an in-depth analysis on what’s happening at Scoops. With these insights, Dorothy can confidently rely on the data and make strategic decisions to run Scoops more effectively.

With the information stored in her data warehouse, Dorothy can answer business questions and make strategic decisions for Scoops, such as:

  • What are the most popular ice cream flavors and when should they be re-stocked?
  • What is the typical demographic of super-scooper member?
  • If we increase the price of single scoop cones, will overall number of sales increase or decrease?
  • If Scoops were to open a second store, where would be the best location?
  • How long before that second store becomes profitable?

What a cloud data warehouse brings to the table

A cloud data warehouse accomplishes the same things as a traditional data warehouse and more.

Real-time Connections

In addition to providing a centralized place for corporate data to be consolidated and processed, the best cloud data warehouse solutions connect to external data sources and applications flawlessly. With a solution like SAP Data Warehouse Cloud, all internal and external data is consolidated allowing for better management of high volumes of complex data.


With a cloud data warehouse, organizations avoid any up-front costs of physical infrastructure including hardware installation and maintenance. A cloud data warehouse can be deployed quickly, allowing you to focus on what matters – diving right into data analysis and cultivating better decisions for your organization.

Unlimited Resources

As your organization grows, a cloud data warehouse can support any scale of users and workloads without compromising performance. Instead of waiting for physical infrastructure to be set up or migrating data in numerous batches, you can scale immediately with the click of a button. With SAP Data Warehouse Cloud, scalability is on-demand, so you pay for the storage and compute resources that you need to use to meet your organization’s needs.


Traditional data warehouses are complex and won’t always support business analytics or ad-hoc queries without the involvement of corporate IT. SAP Data Warehouse Cloud is an example of a cloud data warehouse solution that is built to enable business professionals to query and analyze data without relying on IT.


Wrapping it up

With the expansion of Scoops Ice Cream Parlor, it’s clear that implementing a cloud data warehouse is the way forward to propel Dorothy’s business. Beyond the end-to-end data warehousing scenario, the additional capabilities of real-time data, business usability, and effortless scalability from using a cloud data warehouse will set Dorothy up for success in managing her second Scoops location. With a cloud data warehouse, Dorothy has everything she needs to make impactful, fast, and confident decisions.


Get started with SAP Data Warehouse Cloud

SAP Data Warehouse Cloud is the only end-to-end data management and decision-making cloud solution designed for business and enterprise-grade experiences. ​ We’re combining powerful data management capabilities with the broadest advanced analytics, helping you to make confident decisions – all in one, all in the cloud. ​

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