goals of a data warehouse
Although operational data is a key asset to the organization, such data is generally not utilized to its full potential. Thus, the fundamental goal of the data warehouse is to enable users appropriate access to a homogenized and comprehensive view of the organization, supporting forecasting and decision-making processes at the enterprise level.
An additional goal of the data warehouse is to achieve information consistency. By bringing data from disparate data sources into a centralized repository, the data warehouse provides a homogenized view of the organization's data. Users from across the organization making use of the data warehouse all view a single and consistent version of the truth.
The metadata layer of the data warehouse enforces information consistency by allowing data within the data warehouse to be defined in business terms as opposed to using database jargon. Rules that specify how business terms are determined or calculated (i.e. business rules) are also defined within the metadata layer and subsequently presented to the users.
Although the data within the data warehouse is generally non-volatile (i.e. read-only), the data warehouse must be designed to adapt to change. An organization's business terms and business rules inevitably evolve and change over time. The data warehouse environment must be resilient to such change.
business term definition
business rule definition
enforcement of information consistency