Glossary

 

Data Warehouse:  A subject-oriented, integrated,  time variant and non-volatile collection of data in support of management’s decision making process.  – Bill Inmon, 1990

Business Intelligence (BI):  A generic term to describe leveraging the organization’s internal and external information assets for making better business decisions.

Data Mart:  A flexible set of data, ideally based on the most atomic data possible to extract from an operational source, and presented in a symmetric (dimensional) model that is most resilient when faced with unexpected user queries.  In it’s most simplistic form, a data mart represents data from a single business process.

Data Mining: A class of undirected queries, often against the most atomic data, that seek to find unexpected patterns in the data.   The most valuable results from data mining are clustering, classifying, estimating, predicting, and finding things that occur together.

Star-Join Schema:  The generic representation of a dimensional model in a relational database in which a fact table with a composite key is joined to a number of dimension tables, each with a single primary key.

Fact:  A business performance measurement, typically numeric and additive, that is stored in a fact table.

Dimension: An independent entity in a dimensional data model that serves as an entry point or as a mechanism for slicing and dicing the additive measures located in the fact table of the dimensional model.   Dimensions serve as the primary source of query constraints, groupings and report labels.

Grain:  The meaning of a single row in a fact table.