Storing and optimising your warehouse data

Warehouse data plays a huge part in any business. Picture this, you run a business, and every time you make a transaction of any kind, you have to print a file that describes it. Where would you store that much paper? You would need a Warehouse to fit it all, full of file cabinets from wall to wall. Every time a new transaction is made, it has to go to that warehouse, to the right cabinet, and be inserted in the right folder. How many file cabinets would there be? How easy would it be to get lost looking for one single piece of paper? How secure do you think your warehouse should be?

Data has no mass or physical presence in that kind of measurable form. You likely do have the same amount of information, the same tracking data and transactions in a system that you use on a computer that can track it so much easier. Data warehousing simplifies the process of storing, searching for and accessing data that exists over a legacy period, or for as long as the business has been in operation. And it is as vital to a business online as a physical warehouse is to a business dealing in products.

Photo of data centre

More Paper Than Product

If every transaction across every day required a fully detailed print-out, the amount of paper needed to track everything would rapidly overtake the storage space of a standard warehouse. That paper flow would increase steadily and never move. This is how data storage works. Aside from mass truncation of data or moving data between services, it just keeps growing.

And like paper systems, the more data there is the harder it is to find. Even the simplest sorting methods like alphabetical can take extremely long to get through. And what if you want to sort by something other than a name or invoice number? Such as ascending value, or data taken between a specific segment of time?

The more data you work with, the harder it can get to store. Just having it all on a computer, or a server, is hardly enough anymore. After all, a warehouse is more than just a space where things sit. Inventory gets sorted for easy retrieval and is stored safely enough to last with all the other products nearby. Data should be treated the same, but with the added bonus that it is weightless and can be re-organised at will.

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Shipments of Numbers

As the amount of data expands, so does its usefulness. Data gathered over a long period of time within a business can show trends and patterns that can then be capitalised upon in the future, provided the factors that caused them will reliably repeat. When are the busiest months? Is it during holidays? Which ones? What specific times do the most orders come in, and have the physical sites been able to keep up with them in the past?

Implementing a proper data warehouse solution gives you access to all the answers to those questions and more. It gives you options, the way you want to store the data and recall it, the way you want it displayed and who you want to be able to see it. It’s absolutely necessary for a business at any scale, because this information is helpful for everyone. From personal businesses found and run from a garage to Amazon, data warehousing is what makes it all run smoothly.

Storing Your Storage Using Strong Data

The most basic form of data warehousing is often used as an industry default because it’s attached to the most common business accessory: the computer. Computers already have the ability to store and recall data, that’s what they’re built for. So many companies will solve their data warehousing by just getting more computers, or giving them bigger storage. This is like buying up storage facilities at different yards nearby. You have storage and you have sorting, but is it really efficient?

The next step up is shared storage, having a server - internal or external - opens up shared storage between multiple computers. The computers can focus on storing immediate local data useful to the users while the company’s legacy data is stored on the server, which can then be accessed by multiple users at once. That’s the warehouse with many forklift drivers, all working together to sort and order the products at once.

The highest level of data warehousing doesn’t require a physical presence within a company. Cloud storage allows data to be handled by a third party at a server somewhere else. The company owns the data and controls who can access it but can send that data and add to it freely and automatically. It’s the most modern supply chain of mass warehouse storage which is used to fill out other warehouses.

Where is a House for your Data?

Modern businesses require modern solutions to these new and dynamic problems. Everyone has to deal with data every day, even if a company is not strictly online. Everyone from essential supply chain distribution to ecommerce and logistics needs to make thorough and professional use of data warehousing to keep the data in control.

Need some help?

Need some help using your data to make better decisions, to understand inconsistencies and see where you can optimise your current facilities? uTenant offers expert solutions to maximise your current warehouse space using data.

Published: 15 November 2021