RFID technology is conceptually easy to understand. So is data warehousing, and we know there's a lot to data warehousing. RFID is a tagging technology that uses electronic transmitters, or backscatters, containing (usually) a standard code representing the item that it is attached to - whether that is a shirt, an automobile, a cow, a bird, a computer, a pallet of goods or a passport. The tags are read by readers, which are usually in a fixed location.

Hence, the combination of the item, the location, the time of the read and sometimes other factors, such as temperature, provides the meaningful information a company seeks from the use of RFID. The clear advantage is that, through well-placed readers and inference, the company knows close to or exactly where the items are at any point in time. However, the information will be useless unless - and until - there is information access and business knowledge of how to process the information.

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