Data Warehousing

A fundamental concept of a data warehouse is the distinction between data and information. Data is composed of observable and recordable facts that are often found in operational or transactional systems. In a data warehouse environment, data only comes to have value to end-users when it is organized and presented as information. Information is an integrated collection of facts and is used as the basis for decision- making

The data warehouse is that portion of an overall Architected Data Environment that serves as the single integrated source of data for processing information. The data warehouse has specific characteristics that include the following:

Subject-Oriented: Information is presented according to specific subjects or areas of interest, not simply as computer files. Data is manipulated to provide information about a particular subject.

Integrated: A single source of information for and about understanding multiple areas of interest. The data warehouse provides one-stop shopping and contains information about a variety of subjects.

Non-Volatile: Stable information that doesn’t change each time an operational process is executed. Information is consistent regardless of when the warehouse is accessed.

Time-Variant: Containing a history of the subject, as well as current information. Historical information is an important component of a data warehouse.

Accessible: The primary purpose of a data warehouse is to provide readily accessible information to end-users.

Process-Oriented: It is important to view data warehousing as a process for delivery of information. The maintenance of a data warehouse is ongoing and iterative in nature.