Data Warehousing

What is 'Data Warehousing'

Data warehousing is the electronic storage of a large amount of information by a business. Warehoused data must be stored in a manner that is secure, reliable, easy to retrieve and easy to manage. The concept of data warehousing originated in 1988 with the work of IBM researchers Barry Devlin and Paul Murphy. The need to warehouse data evolved as computer systems became more complex and handled increasing amounts of data.

BREAKING DOWN 'Data Warehousing'

Businesses might warehouse data for use in exploration and data mining, looking for patterns of information that will help them improve their businesses. A good data warehousing system can also make it easier for different departments within a company to access each other's data. For example, a data warehouse might allow a company's CEO to easily exame the sales team's data and help him to make decisions about how to improve sales or streamline the department. Effective data storage and management are also what make things like making travel reservations and using automated teller machines possible.

A key book on data warehousing is W. H. Inmon's "Building the Data Warehouse", which was first published in 1990 and has been reprinted several times since.