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Glossary of Terms


attributeA field or column of a table.
(Business Intelligence)
Business Intelligence refers to software tools used to navigate through the data of the data warehouse.  BI tools provide functionality including reporting, analytics and dashboards.
COTSCommercial off-the-shelf describes ready-made products.
dashboardA data visualization tool that displays the current set of metrics and key performance indicators for the enterprise.
data martA data mart is a subsection of a data warehouse that deals with specific information.  
data warehouseA collection of data designed to support management decision-making.   Data warehouses contain a wide variety of data that present a coherent picture of business conditions at a single point in time.
dimensionA set of attributes that is used to describe an organization’s business by constraining and grouping fact.
(Enterprise Performance Management )
An area of business intelligence (BI) involved with monitoring and managing an organization’s performance according to key performance indicators.  EPM software includes forecasting, budgeting and planning functions, as well as graphical dashboards to display and deliver information.
(Extract, Transform, Load)

A process that involves:

  • Extracting data from outside sources,
  • Transforming it to fit business needs, and ultimately
  • Loading it into the data warehouse
metadataData about data.  Metadata describes how and when and by whom a particular set of data was collected and how the data is formatted.
(Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition)
A suite of business intelligence (BI) products that delivery analysis and reporting capabilities.
star schemaA collection of dimensions joined together with a single fact table that is used to construct queries against a data warehouse.