Nonprofits and Data Warehousing

by Kevin S
Data warehousing can be a large undertaking for any organization, particularly so for nonprofits. In the article “Data Warehousing for Nonprofits” by Laura S. Quinn, she addresses the issue and offers advice in which all organizations can take note of, nonprofit or not. The main heart of the article is to inform the reader of the potential warehousing has, and to help analyze your own organization to decide whether or not a data warehouse would be a good business solution. She gives an overview of what a data warehouse is and its benefits such as the ability to automatically pull data from it to give detailed reports. She also covers some cons, such as the high costs and technical experience required to implement. There are also some helpful questions the reader should ask themselves about their organization before considering a warehouse.

This article was a great read, especially because we just learned what a data warehouse is. The section describing the components of data warehousing was particularly interesting since the textbook didn’t go into great detail of the amount of work involved. She wrote about reporting needs, data extraction, repository creation, mapping data, and finally the data analysis. I can see that knowing your business and what you are getting into is very important as there are several steps involved and each one will take great amounts of time, money, and knowledge.

Reading this article helped me connect the idea from a business perspective. She addressed advantages such as statistic analysis of customers (or constituents, which is a new term I learned) using a CRM software package versus having the centralized repository. Businesses which are too small may not benefit from or be able to support a warehouse, but larger organizations may benefit from the investment. This article is great for helping make the big decision and preparing to make the transition.

Quinn, L. S. (2009, October). Data warehousing for nonprofits. Retrieved from http://www.idealware.org/articles/Data_Warehousing.php

3 thoughts on “Nonprofits and Data Warehousing

  • September 30, 2012 at 7:22 pm
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    This was a nice summary of a very important aspect of data management. Data warehousing is a rewarding investment that many large businesses should look at and, if benefits outweigh the costs, eventually implement. As the cost of data storage gets cheaper, more small businesses will find it to be worth the cost.

  • September 30, 2012 at 10:23 pm
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    It is amazing to learn how data warehousing works in more depth. But then again it is very time consuming to create such an amazing and powerful data warehouse. I have more respect to those who know how to design and to implement it. It makes our lives much more easier to be able to pull information that will help us with business decisions.

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