Humanitites Data Warehousing

Humanitites Data Warehousing

Janet Delve
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-951-9.ch141
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Data Warehousing is now a well-established part of the business and scientific worlds. However, up until recently, data warehouses were restricted to modeling essentially numerical data – examples being sales figures in the business arena (e.g. Wal-Mart’s data warehouse) and astronomical data (e.g. SKICAT) in scientific research, with textual data providing a descriptive rather than a central role. The lack of ability of data warehouses to cope with mainly non-numeric data is particularly problematic for humanities1 research utilizing material such as memoirs and trade directories. Recent innovations have opened up possibilities for non-numeric data warehouses, making them widely accessible to humanities research for the first time. Due to its irregular and complex nature, humanities research data is often difficult to model and manipulating time shifts in a relational database is problematic as is fitting such data into a normalized data model. History and linguistics are exemplars of areas where relational databases are cumbersome and which would benefit from the greater freedom afforded by data warehouse dimensional modeling.

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