Business Intelligence

A Taxonomy of ETL Activities

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Executive Summary

Extract-Transform-Load (ETL) activities are software modules responsible for populating a data warehouse with operational data, which have undergone a series of transformations on their way to the warehouse. The whole process is very complex and of significant importance for the design and maintenance of the data warehouse. A plethora of commercial ETL tools are already available in the market. However, each one of them follows a different approach for the modeling of ETL activities; i.e., of the building blocks of an ETL work-flow. As a result, so far there is no standard or unified approach for describing such activities. In this paper, the authors are working towards the identification of generic properties that characterize ETL activities.

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