Data warehouse

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Data Warehouse Intelligence is a general term to describe a system used in an organization to collect data, most of which are transactional data, such as purchase records and etc., from one or more data sources, such as the database of a transactional system, into a central data location, the Data Warehouse, and later report those data, generally in an aggregated way, to business users in the organization. This system generally consists of an ETL tool, a Database, a Reporting tool and other facilitating tools, such as a Data Modeling tool.

A data warehouse (DW) is a database used for reporting. The data is offloaded from the operational systems for reporting. The data may pass through an operational data store for additional operations before it is used in the DW for reporting.

A data warehouse maintains its functions in three layers: staging, integration, and access. Staging is used to store raw data for use by developers (analysis and support). The integration layer is used to integrate data and to have a level of abstraction from users. The access layer is for getting data out for users.

This definition of the data warehouse focuses on data storage. The main source of the data is cleaned, transformed, catalogued and made available for use by managers and other business professionals for data mining, online analytical processing, market research and decision support (Marakas & OBrien 2009). However, the means to retrieve and analyze data, to extract, transform and load data, and to manage the data dictionary are also considered essential components of a data warehousing system. Many references to data warehousing use this broader context. Thus, an expanded definition for data warehousing includes business intelligence tools, tools to extract, transform and load data into the repository, and tools to manage and retrieve metadata.

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