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If you do not see a particular word or phrase that you would like to know the definition of, please let us know by writing to Julie Langenkamp and indicate the term you would like us to add to the Glossary.


Abend
Acronym for abnormal end of task. It refers to software crashes or lossage. Derives from an error message on the IBM 360.

access path
The path chosen by a database management system to retrieve the requested data.

access provider
A company which provides its customers a service whereby they can access the Internet. The user normally connects to the access provider's computer via a modem using a dial-up connection.

active attack
A persistent security assault by someone trying to gain restricted access by altering data. There are multiple techniques, decryption for example, which can be used to lead the attack.

active server pages (ASP)
Active server pages are a set of software components that run on a Web server and allow Web developers to build dynamic Web pages.

activity-based costing (ABC)
Activity-based costing (ABC) is an information system that maintains and processes data on a firm's activities and products. It identifies the activities performed, traces cost to these activities, and then uses various cost drivers to trace the cost of activities to products.*

activity-based management (ABM)
Activity-based management (ABM) is the use of the activity-based costing tool by process owners to control and improve their operations. Because process analysis is conducted in the building of an activity-based cost model, management knows its business much better and can consequently evaluate value-added and nonvalue-added activities. Because a certain volume of work produces a certain outcome, what-if analysis can be conducted to determine what resources are required of operations are scaled back or expanded.*

ad clicks
Also called clickthroughs. The number of times a user "clicks" on an online ad, often measured as a function of time (ad clicks per day).

ad hoc query
Any query that cannot be determined prior to the moment the query is issued. A query that consists of dynamically constructed SQL, which is usually constructed by desktop- resident query tools.

ad hoc query tool
An end-user tool that accepts an English-like or point-and- click request for data and constructs an ad hoc query to retrieve the desired result.

administrative data
In a data warehouse, the data that helps a warehouse administrator manage the warehouse. Examples of administrative data are user profiles and order history data.

aggregate data
Data that is the result of applying a process to combine data elements. Data that is taken collectively or in summary form.

aggregator
This is an e-commerce business model in which the Web site sells products or services which it does not produce or warehouse. An aggregator creates an environment where multiple providers (sellers) must compete on terms determined by the use.

Ajax
Ajax (Asynchronous Java Script and XML) offers Web developers a means to create rich client-like applications on Web pages without resorting to huge amounts of code or forcing users to download plug-ins.

alerts
A notification from an event that has exceeded a pre-defined threshold.

analyst
Someone who creates views for analytic interpretation of data, performs calculations and distributes the resulting information in the form of reports.*

analytic applications
Packaged software that meets three distinct conditions: process support, separation of function and time-oriented, integrated data analytic applications expand the reach of business intelligence to an extended user base, packaging these technologies in a business context.

analytical profiling
Analytical profiling is the methodology used to examine the business users' process in reporting and analyzing data.

analytics
The process and techniques for the exploration and analysis of business data to discover and identify new and meaningful information and trends that allow for analysis to take place.*

applet
A small Java program that can be embedded in an HTML page. They cannot access certain resources on local computers such as files and serial devices and are prohibited from communication with most other computers across a network.

application service provider (ASP)
ASPs provide the infrastructure needed to deliver reliable application access, including enterprise applications, hardware platforms, operating systems, database systems, network hardware as well as the technical expertise to make it all work for a monthly service charge.

ASCII
American Standard Code for Information Interchange. An eight-bit code for character representation; includes seven bits plus parity.

ASP
See application service provider.

association rules
Association rules are information sets discovered through algorithms in data mining or text mining processes that display relationships or associations between specific values of categorical variables in large data sets.

atomic data
Data elements that represent the lowest level of detail. For example, in a daily sales report, the individual items sold would be atomic data, while rollups such as invoice and summary totals from invoices are aggregate data.

attribute
A field represented by a column within an object (entity). An object may be a table, view or report. An attribute is also associated with an SGML(HTML) tag used to further define the usage.

authorization request
A request initiated by a consumer to access data for which the consumer does not presently have access privileges.

authorization rules
Criteria used to determine whether or not an individual, group, or application may access reference data or a process.

availability
User access to applications and/or data stores that reside and execute on computing systems accessing information that resides in files and databases supported by an organization's various operating environments.

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