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Rensselaer Data Warehouse Project

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.

application goals

decision support
predictive modeling

information goals


metadata goals

business term definition
business rule definition
enforcement of information consistency

see also

what is a data warehouse?
operational systems vs. data warehousing
glossary of data warehousing terms
data warehousing links & books
data warehouse architecture

Goals of a Data Warehouse