- A data warehouse provides a common data model for all data of interest, regardless of the data's source. This makes it easier to report and analyze information than it would be if multiple data models from disparate sources were used to retrieve information such as sales invoices, order receipts, general ledger charges, etc.
- Prior to loading data into the data warehouse, inconsistencies are identified and resolved. This greatly simplifies reporting and analysis.
- Information in the data warehouse is under the control of data warehouse users so that, even if the source system data is purged over time, the information in the warehouse can be stored safely for extended periods of time.
- Because they are separate from operational systems, data warehouses provide retrieval of data without slowing down operational systems.
- Data warehouses facilitate decision support system applications such as trend reports (e.g., the items with the most sales in a particular area within the last two years), exception reports, and reports that show actual performance versus goals.
- Data warehouses can work in conjunction with and, hence, enhance the value of operational business applications, notably customer relationship management (CRM) systems.
Knowledge is not just information. It must be usefully available to the system, though that system need not be conscious. Thus the criteria seem to be:
- The system should apparently be dynamic and self-organizing (unlike a mere book on its own).
- The knowledge must constitute some sort of representation of "the outside world", or ways of dealing with it (directly or indirectly).
- There must be some way for the system to access this information quickly enough for it to be useful.
Data are numbers, characters, images or other outputs from devices to convert physical quantities into symbols, in a very broad sense. Such data are typically further processed by a human or input into a computer, stored and processed there, or transmitted (output) to another human or computer.
Information as a concept bears a diversity of meanings, from everyday usage to technical settings. Generally speaking, the concept of information is closely related to notions of constraint, communication, control, data, form, instruction, knowledge, meaning, mental stimulus, pattern, perception, and representation.
In software engineering, a prototype generally refers either to a breadboard (or evolutionary) prototype or a throwaway (or one-off) prototype. Breadboard prototypes are often software in a development stage, focusing on a subset of the total requirements for a product. These prototypes usually are intended to evolve into the final design. Project managers may formally identify a software component as prototype to communicate with stakeholders that the component may or may not comprise the techniques ultimately allocated to the product design, or to meet business objectives.