Data Management/Data Warehousing Definitions

This glossary explains the meaning of key words and phrases that information technology (IT) and business professionals use when discussing data management and related software products. You can find additional definitions by visiting WhatIs.com or using the search box below.

  • D

    database replication

    Database replication is the frequent electronic copying of data from a database in one computer or server to a database in another so that all users share the same level of information.

  • database-agnostic

    Database-agnostic is a term describing the capacity of software to function with any vendor’s database management system (DBMS). In information technology (IT), agnostic refers to the ability of something – such as software or hardware – to work with various systems, rather than being customized for a single system.

  • DataOps (data operations)

    DataOps (data operations) is an Agile approach to designing, implementing and maintaining a distributed data architecture that will support a wide range of open source tools and frameworks in production.

  • denormalization

    In a relational database, denormalization is an approach to optimizing performance in which the administrator selectively adds back specific instances of duplicate data after the data structure has been normalized.

  • deterministic/probabilistic data

    Deterministic and probabilistic are opposing terms that can be used to describe customer data and how it is collected. Deterministic data is also referred to as first party data. Probabilistic data is information that is based on relational patterns and the likelihood of a certain outcome.

  • dimension

    In data warehousing, a dimension is a collection of reference information about a measurable event (fact).

  • dimension table

    A dimension table is a table in a star schema of a data warehouse. A dimension table stores attributes, or dimensions, that describe the objects in a fact table.

  • dirty data

    In a data warehouse, dirty data is a database record that contains errors.

  • disambiguation

    Disambiguation (also called word sense disambiguation) is the act of interpreting the intended sense or meaning of a word. Disambiguation is a common problem in computer language processing, since it is often difficult for a computer to distinguish a word’s sense when the word has multiple meanings or spellings.

  • What is Data Management and Why is it Important?

    Data management is the process of ingesting, storing, organizing and maintaining the data created and collected by an organization, as explained in this in-depth look at the process.

  • E

    Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD)

    An entity relationship diagram (ERD), also known as an entity relationship model, is a graphical representation that depicts relationships among people, objects, places, concepts or events within an information technology (IT) system.

  • Extract, Load, Transform (ELT)

    Extract, Load, Transform (ELT) is a data integration process for transferring raw data from a source system to a target database and then preparing the information for downstream uses.

  • extract, transform, load (ETL)

    In managing databases, extract, transform, load (ETL) refers to three separate functions combined into a single programming tool.

  • F

    fact table

    A fact table is the central table in a star schema of a data warehouse. A fact table stores quantitative information for analysis and is often denormalized.

  • fixed data (permanent data, reference data, archival data, or fixed-content data)

    Fixed data (sometimes referred to as permanent data) is data that is not, under normal circumstances, subject to change. Any type of historical record is fixed data. For example, meteorological details for a given location on a specific day in the past are not likely to change (unless the original record is found, somehow, to be flawed).

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