Data Warehousing – Definition Plus

ByDr. SubraMANI Paramasivam

Data Warehousing – Definition Plus

The data warehousing market consists of tools, technologies, and methodologies that allow for the construction, usage, management, and maintenance of the hardware and software used for a data warehouse, as well as the actual data itself.

In order to clear up some of the confusion that is rampant in the market, definitionplus provides you with fact:


Data Warehouse:

The term Data Warehouse was coined by Bill Inmon in 1990, which he defined in the following way: “A warehouse is a subject-oriented, integrated, time-variant and non-volatile collection of data in support of management’s decision making process”. He defined the terms in the sentence as follows:

Subject Oriented:

Data that gives information about a particular subject instead of about a company’s ongoing operations.

Integrated:

Data that is gathered into the data warehouse from a variety of sources and merged into a coherent whole.

Time-variant:

All data in the data warehouse is identified with a particular time period.

Non-volatile:

Data is stable in a data warehouse. More data is added but data is never removed. This enables management to gain a consistent picture of the business.

(Source: “What is a Data Warehouse?” W.H. Inmon, Prism, Volume 1, Number 1, 1995).

This definition remains reasonably accurate almost ten years later. However, a single-subject data warehouse is typically referred to as a data mart, while data warehouses are generally enterprise in scope. Also, data warehouses can be volatile. Due to the large amount of storage required for a data warehouse, (multi-terabyte data warehouses are not uncommon), only a certain number of periods of history are kept in the warehouse.

Ralph Kimball provided a much simpler definition of a data warehouse. As stated in his book, “The Data Warehouse Toolkit”, on page 310, a data warehouse is “a copy of transaction data specifically structured for query and analysis”. This definition provides less insight and depth than Mr. Inmon’s, but is no less accurate.

About the Author

Dr. SubraMANI Paramasivam administrator

Dr.SubraMANI Paramasivam is a Data Platform MVP, Power BI Group Leader, International Speaker, Microsoft Certified Trainer and Principal Solutions Architect at DAGEOP Ltd, having 20+ years of DB, BI & Analytics experience. Dr.SubraMANI Paramasivam is a frequent speaker in SQLBITS, PASS Summit, PASS SQL Saturdays, SQLRelay, Data Platform Summit, MCT Summit, SQLServerGeeks Summit, INSIDESQL UK, Data Awareness Programmes, Data Day Events. He likes to enlighten the education & data and started his own journey with FREE Data Awareness Programme (www.dataap.org), in remote areas who are in need. Mani speaks a lot about Visualization, Data Science, R Analytics, Azure concepts, Performance Tuning, DB & SQL Server Architecture, DBA, Partitioning, Resource Governor, Disaster Recovery, High Availability, Development, T-SQL Programming and Microsoft certifications.

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