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A data warehouse is normally thought of as a database of meta data (summarized data about data), while a data warehouse system would also include components to load, transform, and extract data, as well as tools used to retrieve, analyze, and report on the data. Although the raw data is collected from various sources throughout the organization, the data warehouse normally contains consolidated (rolled up) versions of the information designed to provide fast, effective reporting without the burden of significant added overhead to the organization's operational databases. Because a data warehouse is specifically designed for querying and reporting, the construction rules differ considerably from a typical transactional database. While the transactional database uses a normalized database model to insure referential integrity, the data warehouse may, or may not, follow standard database design and database normalization rules. The value of the data warehouse is not in the amount of data that it contains, but rather in the quality and effectiveness of the summarized meta data, and the ease with which it can be queried. User interfaces are an integral part of the warehouse structure and tools such as charts, graphs, and executive dashboard presentations provide effective methods for enterprise business intelligence reporting. Web application development initiatives can also be enhanced by the superior performance gained by utilizing summarized data warehouse information and if you find that your transaction databases are becoming sluggish, you might also want to consider a data warehouse solution for commonly reported data that requires extensive processing involving multiple databases. Contact us for a free telephone consultation regarding your data warehousing or other database service requirements.