Getting Your Data Warehouse In Order
As a middle child, I never got to ride in the front seat. Because my brothers would fight constantly, the two of them could not ride in the back seat together. I was a peacekeeper.
Instead of two brothers, publishers have two customers: advertisers and readers. Content is like the middle child between the two. Publishers connect someone who wants to sell a product to someone who might want to buy it by giving the potential buyer something that they need - content.
In publishing, when we talk about data, these multiple stakeholders can get confusing. Who is the customer - the advertiser or the reader? They both are, of course, but they have different wants and needs (kind of like my brothers), and they need to be served in completely different ways. And what about the content that is stuck in the middle? Is that data? Where does it belong?
Part of the solution is semantic, so it is important to define terms. For the most part, advertisers are paying the bills, so let's call them "customers." Readers (and increasingly, event attendees) are the "audience." Articles, artwork, photographs, presentations, Web forums, etc., are "content" (or digital assets).
Using this vernacular, "customer" databases are customer relationship management systems (CRMSs), and "audience" databases are just that - audience databases. Content is also data, and it is stored in a digital asset management system (DAMS), of which a content management system (CMS) is one part.
Regardless of what you call all of these databases, each one could be considered a data warehouse. A place in which to store all three of these databases together also is considered a data warehouse.
A data warehouse is like a real warehouse; it is a storage place with a system for loading, managing and retrieving stuff (data). But that is where the similarities end. There can be no walls in a data warehouse, and everything has to be in the same kind of box. Data must be stored in similar ways, because in order to create value, it needs to be able to relate back and forth.