Data mart

A data mart is a subset of a data warehouse that is used to store and analyze specific types of data. It is a virtual repository of data that is used to store and analyze data from a specific source, such as a particular business unit or department.

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What is a data mart?

Data marts are used to store and analyze data from a specific source, such as a particular business unit or department. They are designed to provide a limited set of data that is tailored to the specific business needs of a particular department or organization, such as customer data or sales data.

Organizations may use data marts when they have a large amount of data and need to improve the performance of their data analysis and reporting. Data marts can also be used to increase user autonomy by allowing different departments or business units to have their own data storage and analysis tools that are tailored to their specific needs. Furthermore, data marts can be used to promote data sharing within an organization by providing a more focused view of the data that is relevant to specific groups.

Another reason organizations use data marts is to isolate specific data subsets and departments from the main , allowing them to work independently, and also making it easier to implement and update security and access controls. Additionally, data marts can help organizations comply with regulatory requirements such as data privacy laws, by allowing them to segment sensitive data and limit access to it.

Data mart vs data warehouse

Scope: A data mart contains a subset of the data that is specific to a particular department or business function, while a data warehouse contains all the data that an organization has collected.

Purpose: A data mart is designed to support operational decision making, while a data warehouse is designed to support strategic decision making.

Capacity: A data warehouse is typically much larger in size than a data mart, as it contains all of an organization's data.

Data integration: A data warehouse typically integrates data from multiple sources, while a data mart may only contain data from a single source.

Access: A data mart is typically only accessible to a specific department or business unit, while a data warehouse is typically accessible to a wide range of users across the organization.

Data Modeling: Data Marts are specific to a department or function and thus the modeling can be more specific to the data being used whereas data warehouses are more complex in terms of data modeling, as it has to handle data from various sources and has to be more generic to cater various departments and users.

Data mart vs data lake

Data Structure: A data mart has a defined structure, with data that is organized, cleaned, and integrated for specific business needs, while a data lake is a more unstructured repository that stores raw, unprocessed data in its native format.

Data Governance: Data marts are typically more heavily governed than data lakes, with more strict data quality, data lineage, and data lineage policies. Data lakes, on the other hand, focus more on flexibility and scalability, allowing users to access and process data without strict governance.

Accessibility: Data marts are typically more accessible to a specific set of business users with specific use cases, while data lakes are more accessible to a wider range of users across the organization.

Data Processing: Data marts typically have a more rigid and defined data processing pipeline, with data being transformed and loaded into the data mart at defined intervals. Data lakes have more flexible and scalable data processing pipelines, with data being ingested and processed on-demand.

Data Integration: Data marts are more focused on integrating data from specific sources and providing a more focused view of the data, while data lakes are more focused on collecting data from all sources, and providing a more holistic view of the data.

Suggested reading:

Do I need a data mart project?

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