Building the Data Warehouse

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In summary, the process of moving data from the Web into the data warehouse involves these steps:

■    Web data is collected into a log.

■■ The log data is processed by passing through a Granularity Manager.

■    The Granularity Manager then passes the refined data into the data warehouse.

The way that data passes back into the Web environment is not quite as straightforward. Simply stated, the data warehouse does not pass data directly back into the Web environment. To understand why there is a less-than-straight-forward access of data warehouse data, it is important to understand why the Web environment needs data warehouse data in the first place.

The Web environment needs this type of data because it is in the data warehouse that corporate information is integrated. For example, suppose there’s

a Web site dedicated to selling clothes. Now suppose the business analyst decides that it would be nice for a clothing customer become a customer for other goods the business sells, such as gardening tools, sports gear, travel accessories, and costume jewelry. The analyst might decide to initiate a special promotion for fancy women’s dresses and upscale costume jewelry. But where does the analyst turn to find which women customers have bought costume jewelry in the past? Why, naturally, he or she turns to the data warehouse because that is where the historical information about customers is found.

In another example, suppose the Web site is dedicated to selling cars. The analyst would really like to know who has purchased the brand of car the company is selling. Where is the historical information of this variety found? In the data warehouse, of course.

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