Contributions welcome!


Access monitoring

Measuring query activity, query results and accessing data in general. The measurement data is used to optimize the database and to monitor the distribution of data.

Access Path

In relational database management system (RDBMS) terminology, Access path refers to the path chosen by the system to retrieve data after executing a Structured Query Language (SQL) request.

Activity Based Costing

Activity Based Costing. An accounting strategy in which indirect costs are allocated to products and customers through activities (cost drivers). By determining the cost price per unit for each activity, it can be calculated which products / customers cost a lot and which are low. With ABC one can ultimately answer the following questions: • Which customers yield the most …

Ad-hoc query

A query is a question that you ask in a database in the form of an SQL statement. Ad hoc queries are often a question that is asked once to the database. They are therefore not included in the fixed set of reports or queries

Ad-hoc reporting

The ability to create reports of any composition at any time. To this end, the necessary data must be available and the tools set up accordingly. It usually concerns one-off reports that are not included in a set of standard reports.

Administrative data (AD)

The data in the Datawarehouse that is used by the Datawarehouse administrator to manage the Data Warehouse, for example user profiles and transaction history.

Aggregated data

Aggregated data is the data resulting from applying a process to combine data elements from different sources. The aggregated data is usually collected collectively or in concise form.


Collection of data, calculated from detailed data. An aggregation is usually a summation, count or average of the underlying detailed data.

Aggregation funtions

Aggregation functions are Count, Addition, Calculate Average, Minimum, and Maximum.


An algorithm is a prescription, made up of one or more steps, with all the actions that must be performed in sequence to arrive at the desired end result from a given initial situation.

Ambition levels of BI

to even make completely new processes inside and outside the organization as new business models


Collective term for research. Collection of, for example, a system description, data, user requirements, etc. A thorough analysis is required to arrive at effective BI solutions. Analysis must be approached pragmatically. It serves a purpose and should not become the goal itself.


Quickly adding rows of data to tables. There is no check to determine whether the record to be inserted is not already present in the table. See also: ‘insert’, where this check is performed.


Indexed arrangement of data of the same type in one or more dimensions.


A field that displays a property or characteristic of an object. An object can be a table, report, view, record, data entity, etc.

Attribute Class

Insignificant undividable unit of information that represents a relevant property of an entity class. The organization wants to record this information, eg Name, Telephone number, Color, Date. An entity class always has attribute types. There is always at least one (combination of) attributes identifying


Balanced scorecard

Methodology developed by Kaplan and Norton in 1992 to gain insight into the performance of an organization. Balanced scorecarding works with indicators that are given a certain score according to the predetermined criteria. Based on these scores, insight can be obtained into the performance of an organization. These criteria are divided over four balanced perspectives, such as customer, process, innovation …

Base tables

Normalized data structures stored in the Data Warehouse database according to Inmon’s theory. Can also be described as the ‘detail data’.


Comparing one’s own performance in certain areas with the performance of others (often competitors or otherwise comparable organizations) in one’s own field of activity.

BI – Gap

The mountain with data n is growing enormously, partly due to the Internet of Things and Soclal Media. At the same time, the dynamic way of working increases, while the time to make good decisions decreases, with the usage of BI you want to solve that problem.

BI information gap

The amount of information within an organization is increasing and the time to make a decision is getting shorter.

BI Project cycle

In order to set up the architecture, the intelligent organization uses a project approach that does justice to the complexity of multidisciplinary BI processes. Partly waterfall, partly scrum.

BI tools

BI Tools are intended to efficiently create reports, interactive analyzes and dashboards and come in all kind of shapes and sizes. Ranging from the well-known Excel to ferrari’s such as Power BI from Microsoft of QLik Sense from Qlik. A few examples of BI Tools functionalities: tables, graphs, drill-down, nesting, slice-and-dice, meters, role-based, scheduling, real-time reporting, conditional formats, search, etc.


A BI audit is a qualitative investigation of a BI and / or data warehousing environment. Matters such as stability, performance, expansion options, data quality, ease of use and TCO are investigated and assessed. The end result is a report that not only provides an objective judgment, but also contains recommendations for improvement if necessary.

Bidirectional extraction

The ability to run ETL processes in two directions between different types of databases, including hierarchical, network and relational databases.

Bill Inmon

Data warehouse guru. Co-creator of the Corporate Information Factory (CIF). This is a framework for setting up a data warehouse. Characteristic of this framework is that it uses a centrally normalized data warehouse. In addition to the CIF, the Government Information Factory (GIF) now also exists. External


General term used for the approach of a way of collecting the data. Within data warehousing this means first building one or more data marts (stove pipes) and then a Data Warehouse. The opposite of ‘top-down’.

Bulk data transfer

Moving very large amounts of data simultaneously. This often uses technology such as compression, blocking and buffering. Also called bulk load.

Business intelligence platform

An integrated collection of tools, technology and methodologies for the design, development and use of business intelligence applications.

Business Activity Monitoring (BAM)

Business Activity Monitoring stands for software that provides a real-time summary of current business activities. BAM software collects and identifies data, categorizes and analyzes data, followed by presentation of the results in a clear, user-friendly interface. BAM warns through Key Performance Indicators if a process goes wrong. BAM shows where opportunities lie and evaluates internal and external factors.

Business Case

A concept from project management. The business case describes which strategic objectives the project contributes to and which relationships exist with other initiatives on the project calendar. The project risks have been described and analyzed. The business case provides a good picture of the scope of a project, required resources (people and resources), the schedule and of the qualitative and …

Business consultant

A person who advises on the company and its business processes. Usually someone with specific (industry) knowledge, but above all a pragmatist who has insight into business processes in the general sense. This role is often fulfilled by an objective, external person or party.

Business intelligence

BI is the whole of concepts, processes, strategies, culture, structure, methodologies, standards and ICT tools that enable organizations to behave and develop more intelligence and value based on their organizational goals

Business Intelligence Competence Center

A Business Intelligence Competence Center (BICC) is a permanent and formally structured organizational unit, is sponsored by the business, is staffed with representatives from both the business and IT, and aims to improve and promote the effective use of business intelligence for support the organization’s business strategy.

Business performance calibration

The constant (almost real-time) forecasting and analysis of performance indicators in order to achieve a balanced business performance. Dealing with company assets in the most efficient and effective way possible.

Business performance intelligence

A collection of sub-areas within BI. Usually expressed as: planning and budgeting, balanced scorecarding and activity based costing.

Business performance measurement

Measuring specific KPIs to gain insight into the performance of the organization. Business performance measurement applications support the analysis phase of the business improvement cycle.

Business process management

Rather than just measuring what happened, BPM helps to assess the consequences of alternative actions, routes, processes, etc. before putting them into production.

Business rules

Business rules are the translation of a business strategy, legislation or expertise into operational guidelines. For example, to make the impact of a change in the law on business operations tangible and operational. It is a rule relevant to the organization that relates to entity class, entity instances, attribute class, attribute instances, relationship class and / or relationship instances.



This is the structural relationship between two entities. It is used in data models to represent how many occurrences of one entity can be related to occurrences of the other entity.


CASE stands for Computer Aided Software Engineering. CASE tools are used as a tool for the analysis and design of static and dynamic business process models for the purpose of software development. Examples of use in BI are reading or generating database schemas and data flow diagrams.


A part of a data dictionary that contains an indexed list of the objects and attributes of each object, within a database system. See also: ‘data dictionary’. Also used by some suppliers as a name for the layer between the reporting and the data model. It contains, for example, semantics, lists of values, etc. In the latter sense, it is …

Causal dimension

A causal dimension is a dimension that answers why something is! It does not record information that says something descriptive about the fact, but information that says something about the circumstances under which the fact takes place. This is done for the purpose of explaining why the fact occurs. A sales fact can occur under a promotion. The promotion is …

Centralized data warehouse

A single, central Data Warehouse in which all data is stored. Single and central in the sense of architecture. It is quite possible that the central Data Warehouse runs on multiple physical systems and / or at different locations. It is the only central source for the users of the data from the Data Warehouse.

Change data capture (CDC)

Het proces dat uitsluitend de in een bepaalde periode gewijzigde data van een bronsysteem identificeert en voor verdere verwerking beschikbaar maakt.


A graph that visualizes generated information. Experience shows that one picture says more than 1000 words (or numbers).

Chief Data Officer

A chief data officer is a corporate officer responsible for enterprise-wide governance and utilization of information as an asset, via data processing, analysis, data mining, information trading and other means


In the hierarchical sense, subordinate to a parent entity. Used in hierarchical systems and databases.


A class or kind with certain characteristics and / or rights.


Process of cleaning up that makes raw data from production systems or external sources suitable for inclusion in the data warehouse.


The organizational cockpit is a metaphor for a dashboard that allows managers to make decisions within the lines of the organizational hierarchy. These decisions are always based on the information presented in the cockpit and on personal observations.

Collaborative Business Intelligence

Strategy in which companies share knowledge about their own organization and processes with others in their supply chain, potentially resulting in greater efficiency and effectiveness. Also called BI Networks.


Used to name the process of collecting data, for example, and the final collection itself. For example, the collection process can be performed by a SQL query. The result of such a query is the collection itself.

Common warehouse metamodel

A commonly used specification method for modeling metadata (e.g. relating to object-oriented class schemes, relational, non-relational and / or dimensional databases in the data warehousing environment) and describing the exchange of metadata between e.g. Data Warehouses, business intelligence, knowledge management and portal technologies.

Competitive intelligence

A form of business intelligence in which knowledge and prior knowledge of the external environment plays an important role. This will usually be data relating to competitors and market developments.


Compliance is the term used to indicate that an organization operates in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. An example of this is International Accounting Standards.

Conceptual scheme

A logical scheme. For example, the description of a database structure that matches human logic.


Een voorwaarde die bepaalt welke instructie moet worden uitgevoerd afhankelijk van de toestand waarin het proces zich bevindt.


Link between two (or more) data structures. Also used in the sense of linking two applications.

Corporate data

The data of a large company. Although large is a relative concept, it is often assumed that there is a complex organization with several branches. Business data in the most general sense of the word, ie all kinds of internal and external data that are relevant to the company or that are generated during the business operations.

Corporate data model

A logical model that contains all important aspects of a corporate data architecture.

Corporate information factory

collected data from all business processes within an organization. This data is then used by BI applications.

Corporate performance management

CPM is the continuous process in which the achievement of goals, or the delivery of performance, is controlled with the ultimate goal of realizing the strategy. This not only focuses on financial goals, but also on the internal process, on the customer and on innovation and growth of the organization: the four perspectives of the balanced scorecard. A term used …

Critical Result Indicators (KRIs)

Indicators that show the score in a broad result area that is the result of several actions (profitability, customer satisfaction, etc.)

Critical Success Factors

The critical success factors indicate what actually makes (or should make) an organization unique and describe those processes that are decisive for the success or failure of an organization. A CSF is a characteristic of the organization or of the environment that is essential to the viability and success of that organization. That can be both positive and negative. The …


A cube, or data cube is a multi-dimensional structure that contains data. Data cubes are used for OLAP.

Customer intelligence

A form of BI in which customer data and transaction data are used to gain insight into, for example, acquisition, cross and up selling and retention processes. Often based on composite customer profiles. Basically a system that provides useful customer information

Customer relationship management

The idea of setting up an effective and efficient, customer-oriented approach based on individual relationships with customers. All this to make it possible to arrive at an individual value proposition per customer or customer group. In IT and business intelligence terms, it concerns all methods, strategies, software and systems that an organization needs to make the relationships with its clients …



A method that is used to display management information in a simple way. The analogy is that of a dashboard in the car, on which one can see at a glance all the relevant information that one needs to drive the car. A dashboard in BI terms is usually one screen on which the most relevant information that is required …

Data conditioning

Method to compress data and to reduce storage capacity data definition language (DDL). Standard to describe and define elements (data) in a database. The term ‘data description language’ is also used.


All internal and external data that is relevant to business operations. Also data generated during business operations. In BI terms, it often concerns data that is recorded or to be recorded electronically. (Un) structured, apparently random data form the basis for BI solutions that are able to convert it into usable (control) information.

Data analysis

Analyzing data and data flows in preparation for further structuring and modeling.

Data architect

Specialist in the preparation of data models and also in the preparation of Data Warehouse architectures.

Data cardinality

Number of times a relationship or association can / may occur. For example: A project has one or more employees. The cardinality is then one or more.

Data cleansing

Removing errors and inconsistencies from data before it is loaded into the Data Warehouse

Data collection

Used to describe the process of collecting data, for example, and the ultimate collection itself. For example, the collection process can be performed by a SQL query. The result of such a query is the collection itself.

Data dictionary

A database in which specifying data about data and database structures is stored.

Data directory

A database in which all information about data and database structures is stored. A catalog of all data elements, including names, structures and usage information. A central location for metadata.

Data extraction

The process of extracting data from source systems

Data hierarchy

The hierarchical relationships that arise between different data elements

Data integration

Bringing together and consolidating data from various sources into one universal source

Data Literacy

The ability to read, write and communicate data in context, including an understanding of data sources and constructs, analytical methods and techniques applied — and the ability to describe the use case, application and resulting value. (Source Gartner Feb 6, 2019)

Data management

Managing data, data collections and data flows

Data mart

Part of a data warehouse with a limited set of data from that data warehouse, tailored to the purpose of use. Intended to make data easier and faster accessible for a specific purpose or a specific user group.

Data mining

Data mining is the targeted search for (statistical) connections in large collections of data for scientific or commercial purposes. Such a collection of data can be formed by registering events in a practical situation (purchasing behavior of consumers, symptoms in patients, etc.) or by comparing and reinterpreting the results of previously conducted scientific studies. The name stems from the similarities …

Data pivot

Data pivot is the tilting of data in an OLAP environment. Often the data is moved from the horizontal axis to the vertical axis or vice versa.

Data Quality

This is to which data complies with the set requirements with regard to, for example, reliability, validity, completeness, timeliness and the extent to which the data is in accordance with the business rules.

Data repository

The place where the metadata is stored. The data repository contains all information about the data relevant to the data warehousing environment.

Data staging area

The front portal of the Data Warehouse where data is temporarily stored for processing.

Data steward

The data steward is responsible for data security specifications, data definitions, data quality requirements and the management of the business rules of a specific area of interest.

Data steward (DS)

The data steward is responsible for data security specifications, data definitions, data quality requirements and the management of the business rules of a specific area of interest.

Data Warehouse

A ‘data warehouse’ in which all kinds of data is stored in a structured way to be used for analysis and / or reporting purposes.

Data Warehouse (DWH)

A ‘data warehouse’ in which all kinds of data is stored in a structured way to be used for analysis and / or reporting purposes.

Data Warehousing

Data Warehousing is the accommodation of all kinds of data in one system, so that it is easier to analyze and report on all kinds of knowledge available within the organization. Data Warehousing is like puttin gall the cards on table like the card catalog with customers, the cash book and stock management in a warehouse so that a company …


A logically structured system in which data is stored in such a way for flexible consultation and use.

Database administrator

The administrator of one or more databases. The DBA takes care of, among other things, backups, periodic clean-ups, etc. and manages the databases in the general sense of the word.

Database administrator (DBA)

The administrator of one or more databases. The DBA takes care of, among other things, backups, periodic clean-ups, etc. and manages the databases in the general sense of the word.

Database management system

A software system that provides access (save, read, change and delete) to a database.

Database management system (DBMS)

A software system that provides access (save, read, change and delete) to a database.


A data model (or data model or data model) describes how the data is structured in an information system.

Datamodel – Conceptual

The conceptual data model describes the structure of and the relationships between the conceptual data objects, called entities. The graphical recording of the conceptual data model is usually done in an Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD).

Datamodel – Logical

The logical data model describes the structure of and the references between the logical data objects, called tables. The conceptual model is linked to the logical model in that entities are converted into tables (or more precisely: table definitions), and relationships are converted into foreign key constraints. The logical data model can be graphically recorded in a Data Structure Diagram …

Datamodel – Physical

The physical data model describes the way data is stored in an individual database. The connection between the logical and the physical data model is established by converting the logical data objects into database definition instructions in accordance with a particular Data Definition Language (DDL). After execution of the DDL on a physical database, the definitions of the database objects …


In a relational scheme, the data must be stored as uniquely as possible. In a Data Warehouse the opposite is the case. It is important for the performance of the Data Warehouse that the fact tables are not normalized.

Degenerated dimension

A degenerate dimension is a dimension that is included in the fact table. It is a virtual dimension, without its own physical dimensional table. It does not refer to a dimension and is not a measure. Example: order number. All sales are linked to order number. There are several order lines on 1 order. Via order you can find all …

Deming Cycle

The Deming circle shows that four types of activities are needed in a company: Plan: Consider in advance which products or services will be delivered, and how they should be made. This activity is therefore an important part of that described above in organizing. Do: Execute what has been devised in Plan (cooperate carefully). Check: Check regularly whether what was …


Term used to describe ‘information density’. This means the extent to which a collection of data contains relevant data. Dense means a high ‘information density’ Opposite of ‘sparse’.


A dimension is a structural attribute that consists of a list of members that, in the perception of users, are of the same type. For example months, days, years, hours, etc. are part of the dimension ‘time’. Countries, cities, streets, etc. are part of the ‘geography’ dimension. A dimension serves as an index to identify values within a multi-dimensional array. …

Dimension outrigger

A ‘second level’ dimension table that further defines and gives meaning to the multi-dimensional model. Sometimes you have a date in a dimension, where you would like the functionality of a full date dimension, such as a customer acquisition date. It is then allowed to establish a relationship between the date attribute and the date dimension. This is a form …

Drill anywhere

The ability to drill (click through) anywhere within reporting and analysis environments, without being bound to predefined drill paths.

Drill down

The ability to drill (click through) to the data in underlying levels within reporting and analysis environments.

Drill through

The possibility to drill (click through) from one reporting or analysis environment to another reporting or analysis environment. The starting point is that the starting point in the other environment is determined on the basis of the starting point.

Drill up

The possibility to drill (click through) to the data in higher levels within reporting and analysis environments.

Due Diligence

The English term due diligence literally means due care. In mergers and acquisitions and in accountancy, however, there is a specific meaning, namely due diligence, for example in the case of a company takeover. A due diligence investigation provides a good picture of the company. The due diligence report describes the strengths and weaknesses of the company and formulates points …

Dynamic query

Dynamically constructed SQL that is not predefined and is compiled and executed in runtime. Often created by and / or with the help of query tools on the desktop.


Enterprise Portals

Enterprise portals provide centralized, direct access to relevant information and business applications via intra- or secure extranets and enterprise portals ensure that new or changed information – or a reference to it – is sent to users on a periodic basis (alerting & notification).

Enterprise Application Integration

In the user experience, this is the company-wide merging of applications.

Enterprise Application Integration 9EAI)

In the user experience, this is the company-wide merging of applications.

Enterprise data model

A logical model that contains all important aspects of an enterprise data architecture.

Enterprise data model (EDM)

A logical model that contains all important aspects of an enterprise data architecture.

Enterprise information integration

Term used to describe the process, procedures and systems by which organization-wide information flows are aligned and merged. The focus of the associated tools is on the real-time presentation of transactional data and not on historical information.

Enterprise information integration (EII)

Term used to describe the process, procedures and systems by which organization-wide information flows are aligned and merged. The focus of the associated tools is on the real-time presentation of transactional data and not on historical information.

Enterprise resource planning

Company-wide software applications in which all main processes, such as sales, production, finance, HRM, etc. come together. Large amounts of data are collected and stored within this type of large software environment. However, it often lacks advanced analysis and reporting capabilities. For this purpose (generic) BI solutions are often used.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP)

Company-wide software applications in which all main processes, such as sales, production, finance, HRM, etc. come together. Large amounts of data are collected and stored within this type of large software environment. However, it often lacks advanced analysis and reporting capabilities. For this purpose (generic) BI solutions are often used.

Entity relationship

The relationship between two or more entities in a data model

Entity relationship (ER)

The relationship between two or more entities in a data model

Entity relationship diagram

A logical diagram describing the relationships between data elements

Entity relationship diagram (ERD)

A logical diagram describing the relationships between data elements


Probably still the most used ‘BI tool’ in the world


The ability to add new functionality to systems without large-scale new application builds or changes to the underlying architecture and infrastructure.

Extract date

The date and time when a particular data element was retrieved

Extract frequency

The frequency with which data is retrieved. For example daily, weekly, monthly, etc.

Extract program

Program used to retrieve data from a source system

Extract specification

The specification of the conditions under which and the way in which data is retrieved.

Extract type

The way in which data is retrieved. For example: refresh, append, update, etc.

Extract, Transform, Load

The ETL (Extraction, Transformation and Loading) software provides access to source files and correct loading of the data warehouse. It is a general description of the process that leads to the filling of a data warehouse. In short: data is retrieved from a source system (extract), checked and adjusted to meet the data warehouse standards (transform), and loaded into the …

Extract, Transform, Load (ETL)

The ETL (Extraction, Transformation and Loading) software provides access to source files and correct loading of the data warehouse. It is a general description of the process that leads to the filling of a data warehouse. In short: data is retrieved from a source system (extract), checked and adjusted to meet the data warehouse standards (transform), and loaded into the …


The process of retrieving data


Fact table

A central table in a data warehouse schema that contains measured values and keys that specify the relationships between facts and dimensions. Fact tables contain data that describe specific facts within an organization, such as the underlying values of transactions, payments, sales, etc. A fact table contains the facts (measures) of a business process or an event: Usually numeric (number, …

Factless fact table

A fact table that does not contain values.

File transfer protocol (FTP)

A protocol and service that makes it possible to transfer files from one computer to another over the Internet. A protocol that dates back to the very early days of the Internet, but is still widely used to exchange data files.

Financial accounting standards board

Founded in 1973, its mission is to define and constantly improve standards for financial accounting and reporting.

Financial accounting standards board (FASB

Founded in 1973, its mission is to define and constantly improve standards for financial accounting and reporting.

Flat file

File with data in text format. For example, an accessible source from a production database.

Foreign key

Key used in tables in a relational database to refer to the unique key of a table with which a relationship exists.

Foreign key (FK)

Key used in tables in a relational database to refer to the unique key of a table with which a relationship exists.

Frequency of update

The frontend of an application. The part that the user comes into contact with

Functional datawarehouse

A data warehouse that specifically serves to provide a certain functional group with BI. For example for one specific department or location.


Global business model

A model for a data warehouse that offers enterprise-wide access to all available relevant data across different departments and divisions.

Granularity (fine grain)

Granularity (lit. granularity) is a term used in the design of data warehouses, it indicates to which detailed data of the entities is present. A lower granularity (coarse graininess) indicates that less details are stored at a certain level. With today’s cheap storage space, it is preferable to record data at the lowest level of detail. The smallest possible granularity …


Heterogeneous dimension

A heterogeneous dimension arises when different groups can be distinguished within a dimension, which have specific types of attributes per group. A product table can become quite large, there may be a phenomenon related to empty values. We don’t like the value NULL in a DWH, we prefer to use texts such as NONE or NA. But this can sometimes …

Hierarchical relationships

The parent-child (parent-child) relationships in a hierarchical structure


A tree structure according to the parent-child (parent-child) principle. Several levels are recognizable in a hierarchy

High level enterprise model

A formal, high-level and business-related description of the information required to manage a business. This description must be understood by both the ‘business side’ and the ‘technical side’ of the organization.

High Performance Organization (HPO)

The high performance organization (HPO) is a conceptual framework for organizations that leads to improved, sustainable organizational performance

Historical data

Not-up-to-date data that is not or hardly requested by end users of operational systems. This data may be necessary, for example, to be able to perform analyzes and discover trends. For that reason, these data are often the most important input for the development of a data warehouse.

Horizontal dimension

Dimension displayed along the horizontal axis of a report. Also referred to as column dimension.

Hybrid online analytical processing (HOLAP)

HOLAP is a hybrid form, in which aggregated data is often offered via MOLAP and details via ROLAP. The simultaneous execution of multi-dimensional analyzes of data in a multi-dimensional database and a database system, often with the aid of appropriate software. This architecture is increasingly used for server-based OLAP.


An OLAP product that stores all data in one cube, with all dimensions to be applied.


In memory datawarehouse

Technique in which the data warehouse is fully or partially loaded into the internal memory of the server. Mainly aims to process data and make it available more quickly.

Increment (INC)

A step, for example in a process or in the field of application development. By implementing something step by step, the entire process is more manageable and easier to control.

Incremental load

Loading the data modified in the source systems into the data warehouse.


Providing a collection of identifiable sequential characteristics. By indexing data, it can be found faster and easier.

Indicatoren (IND)

Indicators are measuring points where the result of a single action becomes visible and can be part of KRI’s PIs and KPIs, but are hardly critical for achieving a better overall performance (customers, gross turnover, number of lost customers, number of orders, etc.)

Information systems architecture

The architecture and prescriptive procedures on the basis of which an information system is built.


A useful and usable collection of data that can be used, for example, to make decisions or to evaluate performance. What BI is ultimately about. Converting unstructured and apparently worthless data into useful and valuable information.

Information analysis (IA)

Research into information and information flows within organizations. In practice it appears that research into the need for information is an important area of attention.

Information analyst (IA)

A person whose main task is to analyze information and information flows. This role is often fulfilled by an objective, external person or party.

Information model (IM)

A logical description of the structure and organization of information, information flows and the interrelationships.

Information need

The need within organizations for information. It is not only about the content of information, but also about the form, frequency and timeliness of information flows.

Information quality

The extent to which (generated) information complies with the relevant requirements with regard to, for example, reliability, validity, completeness, timeliness and the extent to which the information complies with the business rules.

Information quality management (IQM)

The process by which the interpreted quality and value of information used for the decision-making, analytical, and management processes of an organization is measured and improved.

Information silo

A large, non-integrated, data repository in an organization

Information steward

An information steward is responsible for registering data elements in a metadata register. This role occurs in organizations where exchange and reuse of data between multiple systems is important

Information system

A combination of hardware, software, processes, procedures and organization that aims to deliver information.

Information warehouse

A concept based on a central way of managing information and information flows. In line with this, the centrally managed, structured storage of information and data about information is grouped under the term data warehousing.

INK model

INK stands for ‘Institute of Dutch Quality’, an initiative of the Ministry of Economic Affairs established in 1991. The INK model, or INK management model, serves to make quality assurance and quality management measurable and manageable.


Inserting rows of data into a database. This usually involves a check to determine whether the record to be inserted is not already present in the table. See also: ‘append’, where this check is not performed.


A collection of related facts in a database. The related facts represent a unique appearance. For example, an order can be an instance, while the ordered product, quantity and price are the facts. Also used as a synonym for object in the object oriented terminology.


A positive or negative, but always an integer number. A very common data type.


Term used to indicate that a particular technique, tool or solution consists of an efficient combination of different parts. Often an integrated interface is used.


Term used to describe the joining of different parts. For example, merging different (back office) applications.

Integration competency centre (ICC)

A knowledge-driven body with both business and IT skills that can execute data integration projects quickly and cost-effectively based on best practices.


The original and intact state of, for example, data (data integrity) or references (referential integrity). Integrity is an important measure in determining data quality. The keywords for integrity are: consistent and correct.

Intelligent database

A database that contains both shared logic and shared data and automatically invokes that logic when the database is accessed. An intelligent database works in particular with Artificial Intelligence, a method in which the most relevant information is offered to users in the interaction with users. This is in contrast to traditional databases where simple questions from a user with …

Inverted file indexes

A technique for more efficient access to data in an ad-hoc reporting or analysis environment. By placing all values in an indexed list, they can be accessed and used in any combination.


One unit that can be uniquely described. Refers to, for example, one element, entity or part

Iterative analysis

An analysis method that works step by step (in several iterations).


Java online analytical processing (JOLAP)

A Java API for the J2EE platform that can be used for creation, storage, access and management of data in an OLAP application.


A two-table operation in which the data from the two tables of a relational database is merged into one larger and more detailed so-called joined table.

Journal file

A file in which update information is stored to enable roll back and data recovery actions at a later stage. Journal files are often used to take snapshots of the status of a data warehouse at specific times. Journal files are less likely to become corrupt in a system crash than regular files.

Junk dimension

A separate dimension table to group combinations of indicators and flags with low cardinality to avoid a monster star scheme and poor performance. A junk dimension is a composite of a number of small dimensions that exist for the purpose of decoding operational codes. In a situation where there are many such small dimensions, it is possible to merge them …


Key compression

Some of the values that form the primary key are included in an index or indexed table. This prevents ‘overhead’ from duplicate values. Leads to performance improvements.

Key performance indicator (KPI)

Indicators that show the score for one action or activity and are directly linked to the strategic objectives. An improvement on this can dramatically improve overall performance in multiple performance areas. Mainly used in balanced scorecarding.

Knowledge management (KM)

The process of collecting, managing and especially sharing knowledge, skills and experience.



The time between submitting a request and the response to it. The request can be, for example, submitting a query, but also accessing a database, data warehouse, or starting an ETL process.

Library (LIB)

A library in which program components, files, standard operations, queries, etc. are stored in such a way that the content can be found quickly and easily.

Life cycle

Term used to indicate the life of an object in a data warehouse. From when to when is data valid. In a more detailed form, it can also be stated that data can have or lose a certain status or certain characteristics during its lifetime.

List of values (LOV)

A list of values from a domain. This is used to let users choose variables instead of entering the variables manually.


Locking, for example, a system, application, database, record, etc. Is mainly used to lock records in a database during the mutation process. The aim is to prevent simultaneous mutation of the same records in order to maintain referential integrity.


Keep and record information about events, actions, transactions, etc. in log files. These files can be used, for example, for debugging purposes.


In BI terms, the addition logical usually means that it is a description in human or business terms rather than in technical or IT terms.

Logical data map

The source-to-destination reference document. This document indicates which source elements are involved in the mapping to a target element, including the initial transformations.

Logical data model (LDM)

A description of the structure and organization of data, data flows and the interrelationships in business terms.


A term that is used in the ETL process to look up a data item according to certain criteria in one direction (horizontally, so per row, or vertically, so per column).


Magic number

This term is used for constants that are included in software code. In BI they can be located in views, stored procedures, scripts and reports. However, the constants are hard coded, so their meaning requires very detailed knowledge of the system.

Managed Reports

Report templates whict are created / defined for end-user use. More commonly known as “point ‘n click up” reporting. The templates determine which fields are included in the report, the nature of the directions users receive, and the look and feel of the report.

Management information (MI)

Information for management, which is helpful in executing management, making and substantiating decisions, etc.

Management information systems (MIS)

Management information systems (MIS), systems that aim to analyze data from other systems. The generated information is used to make and substantiate and well formed decisions.


Capture and saving of references the data to and from related entities, aliases, etc.


Metadata is an important part of a data warehouse. Metadata describes the actual data in the data warehouse. Examples of metadata are: the definitions of fields in tables, descriptions of transformations from source to data warehouse, information about the update of the data warehouse, etc. Metadata is stored in the so-called Metadata Repository.

Metadata administrator

The person who fulfills this role in an organization is responsible for managing the metadata database (repository).

Mini dimension

With a mini-dimension, a number of attributes of the monster dimension are split off, which form their own dimension. This split is done based on the record. The mini dimension has a limited number of rows. A sequence can then no longer be associated with an object, event or fact from reality. Key of the mini dimension both in the …

Monster dimension

A very large dimension. Often organically created by an accumulation of adjustments. Difficult to manage and therefore undesirable. A sample dimension is a dimension with many records (both lengthwise – number of rows – and width – number of records). For example, a taxpayer dimension for the tax, a customer dimension at a telecom company or an insured dimension at …

Multidimensional online analytical processing (MOLAP)

MOLAP is Multi-dimensional OLAP based on special proprietary file formats (cubes)


Near Real-Time (NRT)

In near real time there is a small delay between the occurrence of an event and its becoming visible in the generated information. This delay is caused by the data being read from the source system, then an operation being performed, after which the data is made available.

Network model

Database model that displays entities and relationships in a flexible way. Each row in a table (record) can be related to multiple parent and child records. It is a more natural way of representing the database model than a hierarchical model.

Nextgen BI

Next generation Business Intelligence. Nextgen is a hype word that can be used in conjunction with almost anything. Examples are: Nextgen DWH, Nextgen dashboards, Nextgen Analytics, etc. Nextgen is everything that is state-of-the-art. Ready for the future!

Non-additive measures

Non-additive measures cannot be summed over any dimension, for example “BSN” in the Netherlands, or Social Security Number in Englisch.


Addition indicating that the element in question is not volatile or variable. The opposite of volatile.


The process that converts a set of data into stable data structures. In practice, this often means that duplications and incorrect data storage no longer occur.


The null value means that the value of a row is missing or unknown. Not to be confused with zero (the number), because that is a value. Using the null value can be searched for missing values. SQL supports the null value.



A person, place, thing or concept that has characteristics that are interesting for an environment and about which information is (or can be) stored. An object is also described as an entity that combines descriptions of data and behavior.


Open Database Connectivity is a protocol used to connect reporting tools such as Cognos Impromptu, Microsoft Access, QlikView, Qlik Sensel or Crystal Reports to a database.


Object Data Definition, the definition of an object. In BI terms, an object is an attribute, calculated value, or logical state

On-Demand Business Intelligence

On-Demand Business Intelligence is the BI variant of SaaS. In the classic model, Business Intelligence functionality is implemented in the form of all kinds of tools that have to be installed on-site. Subsequently, the applications must be developed, the so-called back-end and front-end applications. In the On-Demand model, the same functionality is offered in the form of a service. This …

OnLine Analytical Processing (OLAP)

Online analytical processing or OLAP is an application architecture used by a company to support the analytical applications. It is not a data warehouse or database management system. The main uses of OLAP are business problems where records need to be retrieved from huge data sets. These records must therefore be totalized. To solve the problems of a modern enterprise, …

OnLine Transaction Processing (OLTP)

OLTP systems are operational systems, or transaction processing systems. These systems directly support the operational process. Examples of OLTP systems are ERP, MES or MRP systems. Besides OLTP systems, there are EIS / DSS systems. These provide managers with information. OLTP systems have different requirements for the underlying database than DSS systems. The database for OLTP systems should be optimized …

Operational consolidation

The process in which multiple organizations and associated assets are merged into one uniform system. Operational consolidation also means that all information, data, systems, resources and reports are integrated.

Operational data store (ODS)

An integrated database containing only operational data. This data can come from legacy systems and contains only current and recent data; usually dates up to 60 days old. The ODS is therefore fast and manageable. A data warehouse often contains many years of historical data. This is a separate environment next to the data warehouse, in which current, detailed operational …


Edit an entity so that the value for use is optimal Organization for the advancement of structured information (OASIS). A non-profit consortium committed to the development of e-business through open and collaborative development of standards for information exchange between systems

Output format

The format of the output, usually a report. For example in PDF format, in spreadsheet, on paper, via a web page, or even interactively with drilling options. The shape depends on the wishes of the users.


Packaged Datawarehouse

A data warehouse that comes with a software package (ERP, CRM) and is filled in a standard way from that package. Example: SAP BW. This type of data warehouse is also known as an ‘Out-of-the-Box Data warehouse’.


A variable or addition in a function, calculation or operation that can be filled in freely.


The multiple in a hierarchical parent-child relationship

Pareto principle

The Pareto principle is also called the 80-20 rule. As a rule, 80% of the outcomes are caused by 20% of the causes. For example, 80% of the turnover can come from 20% of the customers. To achieve a certain result, it is best to focus on the 20% group based on this rule. A pareto analysis focuses on finding …


The database system checks the query for syntax and determines whether the query may actually be executed.

PDF Portable Document Format

A standard developed by Adobe for creating documents for electronic distribution. Major advantages of this standard are the small size of the documents, the possibility to protect the content and the fact that almost every computer user in the world has the possibility to read PDF files.


The measured outcomes compared to previously set objectives or the measured (or estimated) outcomes of competitors.

Performance management

Performance management is the process in which control of the organization takes place by systematically establishing the mission, strategy and objectives of the organization, then translating these to all organizational levels and making them measurable by reporting critical success factors and performance indicators in order to ultimately be able to take action for adjusting the organization.

Periodic snapshot model

A dimensional scheme to record long or non-finite processes repeatedly at a fixed interval. An example of this is the average monthly merchandise sales of a store recorded on the last day of the month.

Persistent data

Result of a process in which the previous version of data also remains after processing a program, process or operation. Has historical value and is available for reuse.

PI’s – Prestatie Indicatoren

Tell us what to do in one specific result area and are not very critical for the achievement of the business strategy.


A collection of technologies, processes and methodologies that aims to enable and simplify production, administration, implementation and management of solutions.


Performance Management Analysis / Performance Management Assessment. This term is often used for an analysis of a company’s performance management process.


The contents of a data warehouse or the process of filling a data warehouse.


The entrance to an internet environment and often even the entrance to the internet for users. The purpose of a portal is to support the user in finding inputs to relevant parts of the underlying inter- or intranet

Power User

A Power User is an information analyst who is generally responsible for analyzing data and deriving meaningful information from that data. Power Users have excellent knowledge of their data and its underlying definitions and know how to query the database to produce the results they need.

Predictive analysis

Methods and techniques to acquire knowledge in a targeted and random manner. Uses things like: statistical algorithms, neural networks and mining. The aim is to be able to make predictions on the basis of (hidden) trends and connections about, for example: transactions, customer behavior, performance, etc.

Prefix data

Data in a segment or record, used for control purposes only and not normally available or controllable by the user.

Primary key (PK)

A column or combination of columns that individually or collectively identify a row or record in a table. Within the structure, the primary key has a unique value for each row.


Process management is an indication for a specific field of the category management tasks. In business, reference is often made to managing the organizational processes. One of the imaginary sequences concerns directing, setting up and performing in the organization. In which the organization is managed from strategic, via tactical to operational level.


Moving data from one data source to one or more targets. All this takes place according to predetermined rules (propagation rules).

Pull model

A model or method in which the recipient initiates the exchange process, usually of data.

Push model

A model or method in which the sender initiates the exchange process, usually of data.


Quality assurance (QA)

The process by which quality, or correct results, is guaranteed


A complex SELECT statement that retrieves data or information. The result of a query is a subset of the data on which the query was executed.

Query governor

A facility in a system that causes a query to end when a time limit is exceeded.

Query language

A language with which queries can be created. SQL is the most used and well known

Query response time

The time between submitting a query and receiving the results of the query back.

Quick scan

A quick, global scan of an environment, solution or issue. Aims to gain insight into possible problems and to be able to propose solutions.


Radio frequency identification (RFID)

A digital method to uniquely identify items via radio waves. For example, a shopping cart equipped with an RFI scanner can read all products equipped with an RFI tag and immediately display the total price on a personal display, or the movements of individual loads can be registered at a detailed level in a logistics environment. The extensive introduction of …

Ralph Kimball

Data warehouse guru. Author of several books on data warehousing, including The Data Warehouse Toolkit, The Data Warehouse Lifecycle Toolkit and The Data Warehouse ETL Toolkit. Characteristic of the Kimball method is a dimensionally modeled data warehouse, using a so-called Bus architecture. External Link:

Real time data

Data that always exists in its current form and composition. If, for example, a transaction has to change the data, this will be done immediately. Often, especially in larger environments, there are delays, because things are processed ‘batch-wise’. However, the definition of real time is arbitrary and varies from organization to organization.

Real time datawarehouse

A data warehouse that uses real-time data. This may be that the data warehouse uses the actual production data or that changes are processed in real-time in the data warehouse.

Realtime BI

Real Time Business Intelligence is a concept that aims to eliminate as much as possible the time between capturing data and performing necessary actions that can be derived from the final information. The time in between is determined by: The time it takes to collect and store data (data latency), the time it takes to analyze data and transform it …


A row of data in a database table that collectively describes a unique state.


Bringing it back to the desired state or, after a disturbance, returning something to a working state.

Recovery point objective (RPO)

The intended situation in which a transaction, process or operation must be returned, for example after a disruption. This depends on the extent to which it is acceptable for the organization to lose data.

Recovery time objective (RTO)

The intended, maximum time it may take to return a transaction, process, operation, or system to its intended or working condition. For example after a disruption.


In normalizing data, one of the main objectives is to prevent the storage of redundant data (redundancy). In some cases it may be a goal to store data in several places at the same time. The primary purpose of this is to ensure that data is not lost. In addition, it offers the possibility to use the identical data in …

Redundancy control

Managing identical data stored in multiple places. Overgrowth must be prevented and the data must remain identical. Replication is often used for this.

Reference data

Business data that has a consistent meaning and can therefore be used for reference, validation and checks.

Referential integrity

Referential integrity in a relational database is the premise that the internal consistency between the different tables within that database is guaranteed. This means that a primary key always exists in a table if it is referenced in a key field in another table. The DBMS ensures consistency and ensures that a transaction that breaks the consistency is not made.

Regulatory compliance

Compliance with legal requirements and standards with regard to entrepreneurship, especially aimed at listed companies. In BI terms, it is especially important to meet the requirements set for financial reporting and accounting.

Relational data

Data stored in a relational database

Relational database

A database in which, in addition to the data, the interrelationships between data are also recorded. By using relations, this can be requested and selected in various ways in different combinations. Data in a relational database is normalized and linked to keys and foreign keys. Relational database management system (RDBMS). A software system that takes care of the management (saving, …

Relational online analytical processing (ROLAP)

ROLAP is Relational OLAP based on a relational database (star schema)

Report (RPT)

An overview that contains useful information for the recipient. The shape is tailored to the user. This could be on paper, via a web page or in a spreadsheet.


The process of preparing and presenting reports and analysis results


The location where (in theory) all metadata is stored

Repository environment

An environment in which all metadata of the entire organization is stored. This can consist of multiple physical locations.

Resource definition framework (RDF)

A common standard for describing metadata. An RDF item consists of a subject, predicate and an object that together describe a unique fact.

Response time

The time between submitting a process, program, or operation and receiving a response. This response does not necessarily mean that the operation has been executed (execution time).

Return on investment (ROI)

This is recouped as a result of an investment, for example in BI. Can be expressed in time (how long does it take to recoup my investment) or as a percentage (what percentage of profit do I make on my investment). In the BI world it is important to justify the investments for BI, but also because BI can be …

Roll up queries

Queries that merge data to a higher level

Rolling summary

A summary or aggregation of data that is constantly updated in response to changed circumstances and / or changed data.

Rolling forecast

A forecasting method that is constantly updated in response to advancing insight and / or changed circumstances. The adjustment is often the result of the results of BI.

Root Cause Analysis

This is a term used in DQ and means addressing the root cause of problems instead of fixing data issues.

Row dimension

Dimension displayed along the vertical axis of a report. Also referred to as ‘vertical dimension’.

Running total

A rolling total count over the past period, for example the past 2, 3, 6 or 12 months. Is therefore not equal to a total over a fixed period, for example per quarter or year!



Software as a Service. This is a way of software delivery, whereby software is not installed on location at the customer, but where it runs on a server of the supplier. The customer gains access to certain functionalities of the software via the internet. This saves the customer on costs for hardware and management. In this way, it becomes possible …

Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX)

Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002. Also known as: Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act of 2002. The most commonly used abbreviation is SOX, but SOA or Sarbox also occur. This US law was passed in response to a number of major corporate accounting scandals. US law to protect shareholders and the public from fraudulent practices in an organization. …


The scalability of a solution says something about the growth possibilities in size, not so much in functionality. Growth in size is an important aspect in data warehousing. A lot of data is collected and stored over time. The databases in which this data is stored must therefore be scalable.


The schedule according to which something must be executed. For example, starting an ETL process at a specific time or sending a report.


A diagram of the structure of an object. For example, the logical and physical description of data elements, physical characteristics and relationships.


The frameworks within which something must be performed. Defining a good scope is important to keep work to be carried out and the like manageable and verifiable.


The physical presentation of balanced scorecarding results. The scores of the various indicators are, as it were, kept up to date on this virtual map.

Secondary key

A set of one or more attributes used to uniquely identify an entity in a data model when that is not possible using the primary key.


Security in the general sense. A lot of data and information is stored and made available in BI, including confidential information. In addition, security must ensure that the integrity of that information and data remains intact.


By far the most used and most important SQL statement. SELECT is used to select data based on one or more criteria.

Semantic mapping

Referring to data by the meaning of that data.

Semi-additive measures

Semi-additive measures cannot be summed across all dimensions. For example, “Budget staffing in FTE” can be added up over the dimension “Organizational unit”, but not over “Employee”.

Sequential file

A file in which the records are stored in order of a key field

Serial file

A file in which the data is stored according to the order of entry and the records are physically placed next to each other.

Service oriented architecture (SOA)

A collection of independent and self-managing services and systems that can communicate with each other. The services are so generic that they can be used for and by different applications and systems.

Shared business vocabulary (SBV)

Definitions of entities, attributes, relationships between entities and integrity rules agreed in the organization. Metadata of the organization.

Six sigma

An organization-wide data-driven quality methodology that identifies deviations in business processes and thus improves business processes. Often used as a simple defect control system (DCS).


Slice and Dice is a term in ICT that refers to the representation of data in a certain way. This way of arranging data is often used in a multidimensional database. The term is a combination of two words joined together from two concepts, namely Data slicing and Data dicing. Data slicing is synonymous with rotation. One takes, as it …

Slowly changing dimensions (SCD)

“In general, dimensions change according to a certain pattern. Gradually values in the dimensions change, the so-called” Slowly Changing “of the dimensions. Ralph Kimball distinguishes a number of Slowly Changing Dimension type changes: Type 1, where the old values are overwritten with the new values. An ordinary update on the existing row. Type 2, adding a row to the table …

Snowflake schema

A variant of the star scheme. In this variant, however, the dimension is not stored in a table but in two or more sub-tables. Splits can be made to support aggregate tables or because part of the dimension is highly subject to change and another part is not.


When moving copying data, there is always a source (source) and a target (target). There is also a source for a selection. The source is the origin of the data.


Term used to describe ‘information density’. This means the extent to which a collection of data contains relevant data. Sparse means a low ‘information density’ Opposite of ‘dense’.

Staging area (STA)

Part in a data warehouse architecture where preparatory work is carried out. This can be a database, but also a location on a disk where files are stored.

Star model

The logical description, often in diagram form, of a star scheme

Star schema

A modeling technique used in dimensional modeling. A relational design in which from one central table (fact table) there are references to one or more other tables (dimension tables). Descriptive characteristics: qualities. Analysis variables (measured values): quantities. All joins are only 1 level deep. The analysis variables can be found in the fact table (below the line). The fact table …

Starflake scheme

A combination of both the star (star) and snowflake (snowflake) schemes. In this model, the different levels of dimensions are implemented in both ways: in the table itself in a denormalized way and as separate tables to avoid redundancy.

Static query

A fixed, predefined query that can be used to make standard selections from the data warehouse.

Structured query language (SQL)

The most commonly used query language for querying and managing data in relational databases

Subject oriented database

The idea of deploying and implementing BI aimed at a specific topic, area of interest, department or division. Leads to decentralization of data warehousing, but often makes implementation, management and use faster and easier.

Summarization tables

Tables specially made for speeding up queries. It is usually a table with aggregated data

Supply chain

The chain of organizations and / or departments involved in the creation of a product up to and including its actual arrival at the end user. Frequently occurring links in such a chain are: supplier of raw materials or partial products, producer, distributor, retailer and ultimately the consumer.

Supply chain analytics

The process of extracting and presenting information from the chain for monitoring, measuring, forecasting and managing the chain.

Surrogate key (SK)

A surrogate key is a substitute for a primary key. It is nothing more than a unique number for a record in a table. The only requirement for a surrogate key is that it is unique for every row in a table. It is often generated by a number generator.


The rules that program rules must meet in order to run. In analogy with ordinary language, it therefore only says something about the correct spelling, not about the meaning.

System of record

The original source system. It sometimes happens that data is extracted from ‘pseudo’ source systems that have received the sometimes already transformed data via EAI from the original source systems.



Database component in which data is stored in a record-oriented manner. One of the basic elements of a relational database

Table join

Link between two or more tables for data merge tactical data warehouse development. This stands for the total process from selecting a focus area within an organization up to and including the implementation of a data warehouse. It includes things like data modeling, architecture definition, development and filling the data warehouse.

Target database

The database into which data is loaded

Target groups Inmon

The target group is an important element within the information request. Who uses the information arising from Business Intelligence and gets to work with it. Bill Inmon divides the target groups into four different types:

Target groups Inmon – Explorers

In addition to insight into what is happening, the “explorers” also want to know how, when and why. This characterization therefore goes deeper into all actual events. This group would like to look at the information or indicators obtained from different angles.

Target groups Inmon – Farmers

This is a target group classification that often has a fixed and predictable information requirement. There is usually no need for sudden insight into information. Managers and stable internal departments often fall under this classification. This target group often benefits from a weekly or monthly report. However, it must be regularly checked whether this pattern of need is still valid.

Target groups Inmon – Miners

This characterization goes even deeper into the matter than the “explorers” and deals with complex issues. They use historical data and analyze it in order to ultimately make a decision.

Target groups Inmon – Tourists

This target group classification is equal to the information needs of the “farmers”, only they want to be able to access this information at any time of the day. So they are figuratively traveling through the information and are often busy drawing up an annual plan or adapting to a business process

Time variant data

Time-dependent data. A data warehouse contains only time-dependent data. Data has a so-called timestamp and will never be overwritten.

Top down

General term used for the approach to an approach. Within data warehousing this means first building a data warehouse and then building one or more data marts. The opposite of ‘bottom-up’.

Total cost of ownership (TCO)

The total (expected) costs associated with the implementation of a solution or system. Clearly goes further than just the investment, costs for management, maintenance, etc. are also included.

Total quality management (TQM)

TQM stands for Total Quality Management, or in Dutch: Integrated Quality Management. TQM is a business philosophy, in which it means that everything an organization does should be aimed at satisfying all stakeholders in the most efficient way possible. TQM can best be made concrete on the basis of a scheme. The scheme below is used at both European and …

Traffic lighting

Term used for an indicator on a dashboard application; in this case a traffic light that indicates whether something is going well (green), is about to go wrong (orange) or is going wrong (red).

Transaction grain model

A dimensional schedule to record instantaneous measurement of a specific date time. An example of this is the sales transaction of a product.

Transaction processing

Term that refers to the processing of the transaction data within a transaction system.

Transactional data

These are transaction data that are stored in a transaction system (transactional system).

Transactional system

This is an information or production system designed for recording daily business data. These systems are designed for capturing huge amounts of data, but not for analyzing that data (als een POS, ERP, CRM etc.).


Transformation is the processing of data. This includes filtering data, merging data or aggregating data. Transformation is the process that occurs after data is loaded from a source and before data is loaded into the data warehouse. The location where the transformation takes place is the staging area.


Rules that are drawn up for transforming data.

Transition data

Data consisting of both primitive and derived characteristics. These data are usually important for the management of an organization


A trigger ensures that a process, for example loading the data warehouse, is started. Often in the form of a trigger file.

Trigger file

Often an empty text file that ensures that the next process can start. Usually used as a signal that files are ready to be processed.


Adjusting systems to optimize performance. For example, tuning a database to ensure that complex queries are processed as quickly as possible.


A set of data consisting of one or more data types and is analogous to a record in a database.


Unified Modelling Language (UML)

Modeling language for designing object-oriented systems. Contrary to popular belief, UML itself is not a method, but a format that can be used with different methods. One method that uses UML is RUP (Rational Unified Process). Unified Modeling Language (UML)

Universal description, discovery and integration (UDDI).

A platform independent registry that allows organizations to describe their services and view services from other organizations.

Unplanned downtime

Unplanned downtime of the architecture under a BI solution. This can be caused by hardware and / or software errors, but also human errors.

Unstructured data

Information (or data) that cannot be stored in a relational, hierarchical, or network database. Think of e-mails, documents, reports, multimedia files and the like.

Unstructured information

Any document, file, photo, report, form, etc. that does not have a standardized structure that allows it to be stored in a row oriented storage system. It cannot be translated to rows / records or columns.


Changing data by overwriting it. This operation on data is usually not allowed in a data warehouse.

User-defined type (UDT)

A new data type can be composed based on the existing primary data types (number, text, bit, etc.).



A symbolic representation to name a quantity or an expression, also known as an object.

Vertical dimension

Dimension displayed along the vertical axis of a report. Also referred to as ‘row-dimension’.

Vertical partitioning

Vertical partitioning takes columns of a table from one database to place the columns in two or more other databases. Since the data comes from a single table and is maintained in one location, the resulting partitioning is more manageable than in a situation where multiple tables reside in the same database file. Vertical partitioning makes large database systems in …

Very large database (VLDB)

Very large database with a capacity of at least 1 Petabyte.


A ‘view’ is a logical (not physically existing) table. You can query a view as if it were a table. It’s a different view of the data in existing tables and other views.


Mobility or changeability, for example of data. Data that is often subject to change (is volatile) requires a different approach than static data that always remains the same.


Contraction of Vertical Portal. A Vortal is a Portal focused on a specific area. A Portal, on the other hand, is more general.


Warehouse technical directory

Describes the ETL process, the architecture, the impact analysis on the system and the operation of a Datawarehouse.

Warehouse business directory

A view of the data warehouse created for the business. This view of the data warehouse uses business terms instead of technical terms.

Warehouse population

Index describing which data is present in the data warehouse.


The structure and sequence of tasks and data flows within a work process.



This is a query language that uses the XML structure. It can perform queries on different types of data, both in the XML document itself and through middleware.


Zachman framework

Zero-latency Enterprise. Company in which speed of decision is crucial.