What is a data warehouse ?!

Data warehouse is the topic-oriented, integrated, time-related and permanent collection of information to support management's decision-making. Supporting decision-makers in companies with information systems has been a goal of corporate information processing and computer-aided controlling since the 1960s. After failures, which are referred to as management information systems or decision support systems, the concept of the data warehouse presented by the Inmon company in 1992 now offers a promising starting point for individual analytical information supply.
The main difference between the data warehouse and the earlier approaches lies in the construction of an independent database which, in contrast to the operational data storage systems, should not be application-related, includes various applications and databases and stores them over a longer period of time. In the course of the selection, databases from different operational information systems are integrated into a data warehouse and filtered and cleaned using hygiene programs. This is particularly necessary when data stocks from different data sources are merged, since here no congruence in data formats and calculation rules is to be expected.

Für die Speicherung im Data Warehouse entwickelte Codd den Ansatz des OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) und die Forderung nach der Informationsspeicherung in multidimensionalen Datenbanksystemen. Inzwischen hat sich eine Koexistenz von relationalen und multidimensionalen OLAP-Anwendungen gebildet (ROLAP und MOLAP), die in einem Data Warehouse auch parallel eingesetzt werden können (hybrides OLAP). Die Auswertung und Aufbereitung der in einem Data Warehouse vorgehaltenen Informationsbasis erfolgt mit speziellen Analysewerkzeugen (Business Intelligence Tools). Eine gezielte Informationsauswertung wird durch flexible, elektronische Berichts- und Abfragesysteme erreicht, die mit statistischen und betriebswirtschaftlichen Methoden (z.B. Trendrechnungen und Prognoserechnungen sowie ABC analysis and Portfolio analysis) kombiniert werden können.

Recently, additional tools for undirected information evaluation have been added in the form of data mining. The results are presented in modern, attractive interfaces that can also be operated by sporadic users without computer knowledge. In addition to setting up a data warehouse for the outlined company-oriented analyzes, such solutions are increasingly being used to implement customer-centered applications (e.g. customer relationship management) or to personalize e-commerce applications.

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