EIAW: Towards a Business-friendly Data Warehouse Using Semantic Web Technologies

author: Guotong Xie, IBM China Research Laboratory
published: Jan. 31, 2008,   recorded: November 2007,   views: 5306

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Data warehouse is now widely used in business analysis and decision making processes. To adapt the rapidly changing business environment, we develop a tool to make data warehouses more business-friendly by using Semantic Web technologies. The main idea is to make business semantics explicit by uniformly representing the business metadata (i.e. conceptual enterprise data model and multidimensional model) with an extended OWL language. Then a mapping from the business metadata to the schema of the data warehouse is built. When an analysis request is raised, a customized data mart with data populated from the data warehouse can be automatically generated with the help of this built-in knowledge. This tool, called Enterprise Information Asset Workbench (EIAW), is deployed at the Taikang Life Insurance Company, one of the top five insurance companies of China. User feedback shows that OWL provides an excellent basis for the representation of business semantics in data warehouse, but many necessary extensions are also needed in the real application. The user also deemed this tool very helpful because of its flexibility and speeding up data mart deployment in face of business changes.

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