Growing data volumes present problems for data warehouse projects, a new survey just released has found.

Many companies are seeing very significant increases in data volumes and these are having an impact on their data warehouse programmes, according to the latest survey from (www.evaluationcentre.com).

Most of the organisations (68%) polled by PMP Research on behalf of the Evaluation Centre, reported that data volumes have increased substantially over the past three years, with a further 25% indicating more modest rises. Only 2% said that data volumes have stayed constant over that time period.

While over half (54%) of the sample have already initiated data warehousing projects, with the rest either evaluating a potential project or already in the midst of one, it emerged that the main reason for implementing a data warehouse is a desire to improve the flow of management information, cited by 61%.

However, the accuracy and reliability of corporate information remains a crucial issue for many, with 28% admitting that data quality was ‘bad’ prior to implementing a data warehouse. Just 10% describe their data quality as ‘good’ before implementation, and none believe it was ‘excellent’. In contrast, after implementing a data warehouse, the majority (45%) now report that data quality is ‘good’ and 6% say it is ‘excellent’.

The research found that making improvements on this scale takes time, with 16% of companies spending up to 12 months cleaning up their data and 13% more than a year. But it states that there are clear benefits from this exercise, as 48% now report no difficulties in analysing the data obtained from their data warehouse.

The majority (78%) are using business intelligence (BI) tools to query their data. These are no longer seen as the preserve of the specialist analyst, since a third (34%) of organisations say that BI tools are routinely deployed as part of operational applications. However, less than half (39%) of companies say they have achieved the ‘single view of the customer’ which is often seen as one of the critical requirements of a unified data warehousing strategy.

“Growing data volumes make data warehouse implementations more complex and costly. New technologies, such as the data warehouse ‘appliance’ offer a cheaper, more flexible alternative, but despite their problems few companies (11%) show much interest in such an approach currently,” said the survey.