Data warehouses grow because they contain detailed, historical data, summary data and free-form extraneous fields of data that might or might not be used in future DSS analysis.

The terminology used to describe the volumes of data is changing. Not so long ago, programmers were worried about programs that exceeded K-bytes of data. Then on-line designers fretted over megabytes of data in their OLTP databases. The term "gigabyte" was first heard in the early days of the data warehouse. Many corporations are just now viewing their first terabytes of data, which will soon be followed by petabytes of data.

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