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Big Data vs Data Warehouse: Which One is Better?

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All CTOs (Chief Technology Officers) sooner or later face challenging decision. It all starts when they have to select an effective and suitable technology for keeping and processing data extracted from many different sources. No wonder this choice is so hard, because you should have at your disposal a tool or a system able not only to contain every byte of data you already own, but also have enough space and capabilities for adding new loads of digital information and analyzing it. And that is exactly what Big Data and Data Warehouse offer.

They have been well known and widely used in the development sphere for many years already. Both Big Data and Data Warehouse (DW) surpass many other regular data management tools due to their efficiency. Although Big Data and Data Warehouse are both basically a collection of enormous amount of constantly growing data taken from different sources, they have some differences that you should know about. 

Big Data vs Data Warehouse: key points 

When speaking about these two terms, it is necessary to understand their meaning and estimate their value in the development sphere. Basically Data Warehouse is an architecture, while Big Data is a technology. The first one became a well-known trend in the recent 20 years, while the latter one gained popularity only in the last decade. 

Here is how Wikipedia defines these technologies:

  • Big data is a field that treats ways to analyze or otherwise deal with data sets that are too large or complex to be dealt with, by traditional data-processing application software”.
  • Data warehouse is a system used for reporting and data analysis, and is considered a core component of business intelligence”.

The main function of Data Warehouse is to extract information from various SQL-based sources and create analytic reports taking into account all gathered data. As to Big Data, it is mainly focused on data variety, volume and velocity. This technology is defined by the ability to collect huge amount of information from different sources and by the speed at which incoming data is being processed. 

Big Data and Data Warehouse are both used for reporting and can be called subject-oriented technologies. This means that they are aimed to provide information about a certain subject (f.e. a customer, supplier, employee or even a product).  Data Warehouse is more advanced when it comes to holistic data analysis, while the main advantage of Big Data is that you can gather and process information from almost all well known sources (f.e. social media or even specific machine data). It also accepts all types of format, while Data Warehouse can work mainly with structural data. 

Although you may consider Big Data and Data Warehouse to be similar, they are definitely not interchangeable. Each of these technologies serves a different purpose and to understand them better, let’s take a look at some examples demonstrating why and in which industries their usage is required the most. 

The role of Big Data and Data Warehouse in app development

All capabilities of both Big Data and Data Warehouse help the developers build a complex user-oriented product. However, each of these technologies should be applied in accordance with the specific user needs. 

Data Warehouse will be an advantageous choice for those who are interested in the following:

  • Obtaining information from various data sources and making a decision based on huge amount of data analyzed;
  • Accessing the data using simpler technology;
  • Using a systematic approach while the decision making; 
  • Working with big amount of data and having fast performance (f.e. when numerous charts or reports are involved).

Big Data is needed when it is essential to:

  • Enable personalization and implement predictive analysis based on previous user choices. 
  • Optimize user choice and make it less complex. 
  • Analyse different patterns, data and behavior and target the specific audience. 
  • Get an access, examine and manage real-time data.
  • Perform deep and complex analysis of user experience and understand customer needs better. 

The Role of Big Data and Data Warehouse Engineers

If you’ve made a decision to utilize any of these technologies, then you may sooner or later face a question: “Do I need an engineer to manage all my data?” And the answer would be – yes! The specifics of both technologies is that a huge amount of data gets collected.

However, all collected information should be effectively integrated and structured, separated by sources. And that is exactly when you need to hire Big Data engineer. Their function is to do everything mentioned above and to pass the data to an analysist. Big Data Engineer may be responsible for management of system data architecture and utilizing some solutions and optimization.

Data Warehouse engineers are responsible for the data warehousing of the back-end development. They maintain the existing system and make some improvements to it. They also work with SQL and perform administration.

Business Sectors Getting Vast Benefit

It can be said without a doubt, that due to the usage of Big Data and Data Warehouse many business industries achieved a new level of professionalism and effectiveness. So here are some good examples, where exactly each of discussed technologies can come handy. 

Big Data is widely used and is extremely valuable for the following niches: 

  • Education. It is obvious that education sphere is probably the most loaded with information. There is so much data regarding students, classes, grades, tests and results, curriculum etc. stored by educational institutions. Big Data helps to categorize all information and put it in the right order, which in turn leads to more effective processes organization within an educational institution. Big Data solutions offer more personal approach to data management. It can let you implement prediction of  future profession, stable system of grading, specific learning programs. 
  • Healthcare. There is no need to emphasize how essential it is to keep all data in order in this sphere. Due to Big Data solutions it is possible to perform more holistic examination, diagnosis at early stages and timely treatment of patients. 
  • Transportation. Planning is the most valuable thing when it comes to logistics and transportation. Due to utilization of Big Data it is possible to perform complex analysis of traffic data and tracking of locations. This will help a company to set more effective and convenient route, minimize possibilities of accidents and delays in good delivery. 
  • Banking. This industry like no other requires data safety and structuring. Big Data solutions are able to help with this by filtering all gathered data, providing information on bank cards misuse, identifying various violations and performing fraud identification. It is even possible to make your business more transparent and improve customer statistics. 
  • Entertainment & Media.  Big Data is truly a powerful tool when it comes to this industry. It helps to predict interests and preferences of huge audiences. The most important options is the one that allows to generate new suggestions for users based on their previous feedback and views. Therefore you achieve more precise user targeting. 

Our company knows firsthand how Big Data can help to build a complex and reliable solution. We personally have made a lot of efforts to develop such a holistic project as an algorithmic trading platform that offers numerous unique options and analytics tools. 

Here is the short list of main industries that significantly benefit from usage of Data Warehouse technology: 

  • Traveling. Data Warehouse solutions can help you target more potential clients in the future due to analysis based on the previous customers feedbacks or their travel patterns 
  • Healthcare. This complex industry needs only high-class solutions, therefore by utilizing Data Warehouse you will get an ability to create correct treatment plan for patients, predict all possible aftermath, generate individual patient reports and even share all gathered and structured information with insurance agencies or other clinics, if required. 
  • Sales. Data Warehouse is great at gathering data so you will have up to date information about customers market activity, feedbacks and preferences. This in turn offers more possibilities for performing more effective marketing campaigns and controlling important transactions. 
  • Telecommunication. Data Warehouse solutions can collect info regarding product promotions (whether your product is popular, among which audience, what their response and engagement level are etc.) and in this way help you to perform better promotions in the future, engage more customers and make correct decisions regarding ways of distributing your goods.


It is a software allowing to store, access and manage all necessary data in a form of charts, fields and columns.
Data Warehouse stores historical information and this allows companies to perform easier analysis of data over the certain period of time.
Data lake stores raw information which purpose is not initially defined, while Data Warehouse stores well-organized and structured data that has specific purpose.


Now that you know of all the distinctive features and practical implementation of both Big Data and Data Warehouse, we would like to conclude that whatever technique you would choose for your business, will definitely introduce some effective changes. You can get a solution able to boost your business, perform precise forecasting of different aspects and help you reach out to more customers and make them satisfied with your goods or services. You should not be lost in a load of data, it is always better to delegate its management to a reliable tool.

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