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If you do not see a particular word or phrase that you would like to know the definition of, please let us know by writing to MaryJo.Nott@sourcemedia.com and indicate the term you would like us to add to the Glossary.

An application or custom user interface that organizes and presents information in a way that is easy to read. The information may be integrated from multiple components into a unified display. A dashboard helps monitor individual, business unit and organizational performance and processes for a greater understanding of the business.*

Items representing facts, text, graphics, bit-mapped images, sound, analog or digital live-video segments. Data is the raw material of a system supplied by data producers and is used by information consumers to create information.

Data Access Tools
An end-user oriented tool that allows users to build SQL queries by pointing and clicking on a list of tables and fields in the data warehouse.

Data Acquisition
Identification, selection and mapping of source data to target data. Detection of source data changes, data extraction techniques, timing of data extracts, data transformation techniques, frequency of database loads and levels of data summary are among the difficult data acquisition challenges.

Data Analysis and Presentation Tools
Software that provides a logical view of data in a warehouse. Some create simple aliases for table and column names; others create data that identify the contents and location of data in the warehouse.

Data Appliance
A combination of hardware, software, DBMSs and storage, all under one umbrella  a black box that yields high performance in both speed and storage, making the BI environment simpler and more useful to the users.

Data Consumer
An individual, group, or application that receives data in the form of a collection. The data is used for query, analysis, and reporting.

Data Custodian
The individual assigned the responsibility of operating systems, data centers, data warehouses, operational databases, and business operations in conformance with the policies and practices prescribed by the data owner.

Data Dictionary
A database about data and database structures. A catalog of all data elements, containing their names, structures, and information about their usage. A central location for metadata. Normally, data dictionaries are designed to store a limited set of available metadata, concentrating on the information relating to the data elements, databases, files and programs of implemented systems.

Data Directory
A collection of definitions, rules and advisories of data, designed to be used as a guide or reference with the data warehouse. The directory includes definitions, examples, relations, functions and equivalents in other environments.

Data Element
The most elementary unit of data that can be identified and described in a dictionary or repository which cannot be subdivided.

Data Extraction Software
Software that reads one or more sources of data and creates a new image of the data.

Data Flow Diagram
A diagram that shows the normal flow of data between services as well as the flow of data between data stores and services.

Data Integration
Pulling together and reconciling dispersed data for analytic purposes that organizations have maintained in multiple, heterogeneous systems. Data needs to be accessed and extracted, moved and loaded, validated and cleaned, and standardized and transformed.

Data Loading
The process of populating the data warehouse. Data loading is provided by DBMS-specific load processes, DBMS insert processes, and independent fastload processes.

Data Management
Controlling, protecting, and facilitating access to data in order to provide information consumers with timely access to the data they need. The functions provided by a database management system.

Data Management Software
Software that converts data into a unified format by taking derived data to create new fields, merging files, summarizing and filtering data; the process of reading data from operational systems. Data Management Software is also known as data extraction software.

Data Mapping
The process of assigning a source data element to a target data element.

Data Mart
A subset of the data resource, usually oriented to a specific purpose or major data subject, that may be distributed to support business needs.

Data Migration
Data migration is the process of transferring data from repository to another.

Data Mining
A technique using software tools geared for the user who typically does not know exactly what he's searching for, but is looking for particular patterns or trends. Data mining is the process of sifting through large amounts of data to produce data content relationships. It can predict future trends and behaviors, allowing businesses to make proactive, knowledge-driven decisions. This is also known as data surfing.

Data Model
A logical map that represents the inherent properties of the data independent of software, hardware or machine performance considerations. The model shows data elements grouped into records, as well as the association around those records.

Data Modeling
A method used to define and analyze data requirements needed to support the business functions of an enterprise. These data requirements are recorded as a conceptual data model with associated data definitions. Data modeling defines the relationships between data elements and structures

Data Owner
The individual responsible for the policy and practice decisions of data. For business data, the individual may be called a business owner of the data.

Data Partitioning
The process of logically and/or physically partitioning data into segments that are more easily maintained or accessed. Current RDBMS systems provide this kind of distribution functionality. Partitioning of data aids in performance and utility processing.

Data Pivot
A process of rotating the view of data.

Data Producer
A software service, organization, or person that provides data for update to a system-of-record.

Data Profiling
Data Profiling, a critical first step in data migration, automates the identification of problematic data and metadata and enables companies to correct inconsistencies, redundancies and inaccuracies in corporate databases.

Data Propagation
The distribution of data from one or more source data warehouses to one or more local access databases, according to propagation rules.

Data Quality
The narrow definition of data quality is that it's about data that is missing or incorrect. A broader definition is that data quality is achieved when a business uses data that is comprehensive, consistent, relevant and timely.

Data Replication
The process of copying a portion of a database from one environment to another and keeping the subsequent copies of the data in sync with the original source. Changes made to the original source are propagated to the copies of the data in other environments.

Data Repository
A logical partitioning of data where multiple databases that apply to specific applications or sets of applications reside. For example, several databases that support financial applications could reside in a single financial data repository.

Data Scrubbing
The process of filtering, merging, decoding, and translating source data to create validated data for the data warehouse.

Data Staging Area
a data staging area is a system that stands between the legacy systems and the analytics system, usually a data warehouse and sometimes an ODS. The data staging area is considered the "back room" portion of the data warehouse environment. The data staging area is where the extract, transform and load(ETL) takes place and is out of bounds for end users.

Data Steward
The data steward acts as the conduit between information technology (IT) and the business portion of a company with both decision support and operational help. The data steward has the challenge of guaranteeing that the corporation's data is used to its fullest capacity.

Data Store
A place where data is stored; data at rest. A generic term that includes databases and flat files.

Data Surfing
Data Mining.

Data Synchronization
The continuous harmonization of data attribute values between two or more different systems, with the end result being the data attribute values are the same in all of the systems.

Data Transfer
The process of moving data from one environment to another environment. An environment may be an application system or operating environment. See Data Transport.

Data Transformation
Creating "information" from data. This includes decoding production data and merging of records from multiple DBMS formats. It is also known as data scrubbing or data cleansing.

Data Transport
The mechanism that moves data from a source to target environment. See Data Transfer.

Data Visualization
Techniques for turning data into information by using the high capacity of the human brain to visually recognize patterns and trends. There are many specialized techniques designed to make particular kinds of visualization easy.

Data Warehouse
An implementation of an informational database used to store sharable data sourced from an operational database-of-record. It is typically a subject database that allows users to tap into a company's vast store of operational data to track and respond to business trends and facilitate forecasting and planning efforts.

Data Warehouse Architecture
An integrated set of products that enable the extraction and transformation of operational data to be loaded into a database for end-user analysis and reporting.

Data Warehouse Architecture Development
A SOFTWARE AG service program that provides an architecture for a data warehouse that is aligned with the needs of the business. This program identifies and designs a warehouse implementation increment and ensures the required infrastructure, skill sets, and other data warehouse foundational aspects are in place for a Data Warehouse Incremental Delivery.

Data Warehouse Engines
Relational databases (RDBMS) and Multi-dimensional databases (MDBMS). Data warehouse engines require strong query capabilities, fast load mechanisms, and large storage requirements.

Data Warehouse Incremental Delivery
A SOFTWARE AG program that delivers one data warehouse increment from design review through implementation

Data Warehouse Infrastructure
A combination of technologies and the interaction of technologies that support a data warehousing environment.

Data Warehouse Management Tools
Software that extracts and transforms data from operational systems and loads it into the data warehouse

Data Warehouse Network
An integrated network of data warehouses that contain sharable data propagated from a source data warehouse on the basis of information consumer demand. The warehouses are managed to control data redundancy and to promote effective use of the sharable data.

A large collection of data organized for rapid search and retrieval by a computer.

Database Auditing
Database auditing is the ability to continuously monitor, record, analyze and report on all user-level database activity

Database Marketing
Methods for creating successful marketing strategies and testing them.

Database Schema
The logical and physical definition of a database structure

Database Administrator.

DDL (Data Definition Language)
A language enabling the structure and instances of a database to be defined in a human and machine readable form. SQL contains DDL commands that can be used either interactively or within programming language source code to define databases and their components.

Decentralized Database
A centralized database that has been partitioned according to a business or end-user defined subject area. Typically ownership is also moved to the owners of the subject area.

Decentralized Warehouse
A remote data source that users can query/access via a central gateway that provides a logical view of corporate data in terms that users can understand. The gateway parses and distributes queries in real time to remote data sources and returns result sets back to users

Decision Support System (DSS)
A decision support system or tool is one specifically designed to allow business end users to perform computer generated analyses of data on their own. This system supports exception reporting, stop light reporting, standard repository, data analysis and rule-based analysis.

Decision tree
A decision tree is a graph of decisions and their possible consequences, (including resource costs and risks) used to create a plan to reach a goal. Decision trees are constructed in order to help with making decisions. A decision tree is a special form of tree structure. Decision tree has two other names: Regression trees approximate real-valued functions instead of being used for classification tasks. (e.g., estimate the price of a house or a patient's length of stay in a hospital) and Classification tree, if the Y is a categorical variable such as: sex (male or female), the result of a game (lose or win).

Degenerate Dimension
A degenerate dimension acts as a dimension key in the fact table but does not join a corresponding dimension table because all its interesting attributes have already been placed in other analytic dimensions.

Delivery Chain Management
A strategy for interactively managing your customers and prospects at every touchpoint to create value, one customer at a time.

Delta Update
Only the data that was updated between the last extraction or snapshot process and the current execution of the extraction or snapshot.

Denormalized Data Store
A data store that does not comply to one or more of several normal forms. See Normalization.

Dependent Data Mart
Also called an architected data mart. Shares common business rules, semantics, and definitions. A Dependent Data Mart reads meta data from a central meta data repository to define local meta data. This ensures that all components of the architecture are linked via common meta data.

Derived Data
Data that is the result of a computational step applied to reference of event data. Derived data is the result either of relating two or more elements of a single transaction (such as an aggregation), or of relating one or more elements of a transaction to an external algorithm or rule.

Design Interface
The mechanism by which customers specify exactly what they need.

Desktop Applications
Query and analysis tools that access the source database or data warehouse across a network using an appropriate database interface. An application that manages the human interface for data producers and information consumers.

A dimension is a structural attribute of a cube that is a list of members, all of which are of a similar type in the user's perception of the data. For example, all months, quarters, years, etc., make up a time dimension; likewise all cities, regions, countries, etc., make up a geography dimension. A dimension acts as an index for identifying values within a multi-dimensional array. If one member of the dimension is selected, then the remaining dimensions in which a range of members (or all members) are selected defines a sub-cube. If all but two dimensions have a single member selected, the remaining two dimensions define a spreadsheet (or a "slice" or a "page"). If all dimensions have a single member selected, then a single cell is defined. Dimensions offer a very concise, intuitive way of organizing and selecting data for retrieval, exploration and analysis.

Dimension Outrigger
A dimension ourigger is a second-level dimension table that further defines and gives meaning to the model.

Dirty Data
Inconsistent, missing, incomplete, or erroneous data. Source data often contains a high percentage of "dirty" data.

Disaster Recovery
A protocol and associated execution to recover lost computing-system usage (applications), data and data transactions committed up to the moment of system loss.

Document Object Model (DOM)
Document object model is a platform and language neutral interface that allows programs and scripts to dynamically access and update the content, structure and style of documents.

Document Type Definition (DTD)
Document type definition is a text file that specifies the meaning of each tag.

Internet-based companies that rely on digital technology and the use of the Web as the primary communication and interaction media.

A general condition wherein users cannot use or access computing systems, applications, data or information for a broad variety of reasons.

Distributed Relational Database Architecture. A database access standard defined by IBM.

Drill Anywhere
The ability to drill down to any dimension without having to follow the predefined drill paths established by an organizations IT department.*

Drill Down
A method of exploring detailed data that was used in creating a summary level of data. Drill down levels depend on the granularity of the data in the data warehouse.

See Decision Support System.

Data Warehouse Administrator.

Dynamic data exchange
An industry standard accepted by most horizontal application software for exchanging data among different software programs.

Dynamic Dictionary
A data dictionary that an application program accesses at run time.

Dynamic Queries
Dynamically constructed SQL that is usually constructed by desktop-resident query tools. Queries that are not pre-processed and are prepared and executed at run time.

* definition provided by Hyperion.

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