Fundamentals of Database Management Systems
Introduction Page 56
Traditionally, databases in ITS systems have played a transactional role. That is, they are designed to log data collected by the system in as efficient and compact a manner as possible for long-term archival. They typically are not designed to support future analytical processing (the type of processing required to transform raw data into information). An emerging area in database technology, known as data warehousing, has been developed to address this issue. A formal definition of a data warehouse is a subject oriented, point-in-time, inquiry-only collection of operational data. More simply, a data warehouse is a collection of data organized in such a manner to support a multitude of analytical applications.