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.

  • R

    raw data (source data or atomic data)

    Raw data (sometimes called source data or atomic data) is data that has not been processed for meaningful use.

  • RDBMS (relational database management system)

    A relational database management system (RDBMS) is a collection of programs and capabilities that enable IT teams and others to create, update, administer and otherwise interact with a relational database.

  • relational database

    A relational database is a set of formally described tables from which data can be accessed or reassembled in many different ways without having to reorganize the database tables.

  • RFM analysis (recency, frequency, monetary)

    RFM (recency, frequency, monetary) analysis is a marketing technique used to determine which customers are the best ones by examining how often a customer buys (recency), how long it's been since their last purchase (frequency), and...

  • S

    semantic technology

    Semantic technology is a set of methods and tools that provide advanced means for categorizing and processing data, as well as for discovering relationships within varied data sets.

  • snowflaking (snowflake schema)

    In data warehousing, snowflaking is a form of dimensional modeling where dimensions are stored in multiple related dimension tables. 

  • sparsity and density

    Sparsity and density are terms used to describe the percentage of cells in a database table that are not populated and populated, respectively. The sum of the sparsity and density should equal 100%.

  • SQL-on-Hadoop

    SQL-on-Hadoop is a class of analytical application tools that combine established SQL-style querying with newer Hadoop data framework elements.

  • star schema

    In data warehousing, a star schema is the simplest form of dimensional model, with data organized into facts and dimensions. 

  • synthetic backup

    Synthetic backup is the process of generating a file from a complete copy of a file created at some past time and one or more incremental copies created at later times... (Continued)

  • T

    TensorFlow

    TensorFlow is an open source framework developed by Google researchers to run machine learning, deep learning and other statistical and predictive analytics workloads.

  • tree structure

    A tree structure is an algorithm for placing and locating files (called records or keys) in a database. The algorithm finds data by repeatedly making choices at decision points called nodes. A node can have as few as two branches (also called children)...

  • U

    USA Patriot Act

    The USA Patriot Act is a law enacted in 2001, granting new and extended data-collection abilities to federal agencies in an effort to combat terrorism after the September 11 attacks.

  • V

    virtual cube

    A virtual cube is a subset of one or two existing cubes in a database. Database administrators create virtual cubes for security purposes and/or to enable analysis of the shared data.

  • VoltDB

    VoltDB is an in-memory database. The software is available in an open-source community edition and in a commercial release from vendor VoltDB Inc.

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