Data warehousing has brought many different aspects of information to the party. Prior to the data warehouse, there was no emphasis on data integration. Prior to data warehousing, data was stored so that it was optimal for transaction processing, not access and analysis. Prior to data warehousing, long-running transactions were thought to be abnormal activities that should be avoided at all costs.

Perhaps the most profound dimension of information that has been afforded by data warehousing is the recognition of the importance of historical data. Transaction systems stored data that was a month or a quarter old. Some accounting systems stored data at a summary level that was perhaps two years old. Data that was two years old was useful for establishing annual comparisons of revenue and other financial measurements of data. However, this was pretty much the extent of historical data.

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