Chapter 1. Introduction to Data Warehousing and SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services

Business intelligence (BI) helps enterprises to gain insight from historical data and formulate strategic initiatives for the future. The historical data are stored as an electronic repository, which is called a data warehouse. A data warehouse is a system of records (a business intelligence gathering system) that takes data from a company's operational databases and other data sources and transforms it into a structure conducive to business analysis. Business calculations are often performed on the organized data to further its usefulness for making business decisions. Finally, the data is made available to the end user for querying, reporting, and analysis. A data warehouse system that is cleansed, is organized, and has optimized storage of historical records gives the business an intelligence gathering system to understand the business dynamics. Business analysis can be done in reactive mode or predictive mode. Reactive mode business analysis (also known as business analytics) is a function where information workers, business analysts, and other business users investigate the system of records and identify patterns and trends, and make business decisions to improve their business processes. Predictive mode analysis (also known as predictive analytics or data mining) is done using mathematical models to predict future trends on the system of records. The general approach to storing business data ...

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