“A data warehouse is a subject-oriented, integrated, time-variant and non-volatile collection of data in support of management's decision making process.” ~ Bill Inmon (1)
A data warehouse can be used to evaluate a particular sector. As an example; “accounts receivable” can be a specific area for analysis. A data warehouse uses data from multiple sources and streamlines the information. Historical data is kept in a data warehouse. It is mandatory for doctors to keep patient files for 7 years after they stop receiving treatment. The data warehouse keeps all the information stored and easily accessible. Once stored, the data will not change. “A data warehouse is a copy of transaction data specifically structured for query and analysis.” ~ Ralph Kimball (1)
Kimball points out how a data warehouse is useful, while Inmon gives insight into how they are organized.
A data mart is a collection of data gathered from many sources like, but not limited to, operational data. It is information that can be accessed from a data warehouse, but the collection of data is geared for a specific purpose or audience in terms of analysis, content and presentation. A data mart organizes relevant information in terms that are familiar to the users. Data marts are created to fulfill an immediate need where data warehouses are more of a collect-all-the-data-we-can-for- future-use-or-later-reference thing. Many products and companies offering data warehouse services tend to offer data mart services as well. (2)
Data mining, also known as “knowledge discovery” (3), is the process of analyzing data from different angles and generating useful information from the plethora of information in a data warehouse or data mart. Finding correlations or patterns among subjects and sources in large relational databases can be quite a challenge. Data mining software allows users to analyze data from many different perspectives, categorize it, and summarize the relationships...
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