The optimal refresh frequency for a data warehouse depends on the industry, the application, the business process, the time horizon of the business process and the underlying technical infrastructure. In particular, the business process is decisive – if I have a three-week demand-planning supply chain, the refresh rate will be different than if I have a customer on the phone. Also, the "optimal" frequency is not necessarily the "standard" or "most common" frequency. (People who respond to surveys are reluctant to admit what they are doing is less than optimal – even if it is). For example, if yesterday's sales data is captured by the automated system at a point-of-sales terminal, then it is reasonable to request to see yesterday's sales data today. On the other hand, if the sale is not really booked until the invoice is paid, then the same request is less reasonable. In that situation, one would reasonably expect to see invoices that have been paid yesterday reported as completed sales today.

Figure 1: Data Warehouse Refresh Rates

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