Chapter 11 Computer Concepts

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alphabetic check
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alphabetic check Confirms that only textual characters are entered in a database field.
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artificial intelligence (AI)
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The science that attempts to produce computers that display the same type of reasoning and intelligence that humans do.
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batch processing
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The process of accumulating transaction data until a certain point is reached, then processing those transactions all at once.
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binary large object (BLOB)
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In databases, a type of object that holds extremely large chunks of data in binary form; this data is usually video clips, pictures, or audio clips.
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data integrity
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The process of ensuring that data contained in a database is accurate and reliable.
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data inconsistency
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Any difference in data in lists caused when data exists in multiple lists and not all lists are updated when a piece of data changes.
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data field
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Holds data such as birthdays and due dates.
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data dictionary (database schema)
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A file that defines the name, data type, and length of each field in the database.
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data centralization
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Having all data in one central location (usually a database). Data centralization helps ensure data integrity by requiring data to be updated only in one place if the data changes.
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consistency check
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The process of comparing the value of data in a database field against established parameters to determine whether the value is reasonable.
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computational field (computed field)
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A numeric field in a database that is filled as the result of a computation.
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completeness check
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A process that ensures that all database fields defined as “required” have data entered into them.
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clickstream data
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Information captured about each click that users make as they navigate a Web site.
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browsing
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(1) The process of viewing database records. (2) The process of “surfing” the Web.
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decision support system (DSS)
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A system designed to help managers develop solutions for specific problems.
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date field
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A field in a database that holds date data such as birthdays, due dates, and so on.
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database query
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An inquiry the user poses to a database to extract a meaningful subset of data.
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database management system (DBMS)
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A type of specially designed application software (such as Oracle or Microsoft Access) that interacts with the user, other applications, and the database to capture and analyze data.
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database administrator (database designer)
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An individual trained in the design, construction, and maintenance of databases.
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database
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A collection of related data that can be easily stored, sorted, organized, and queried.
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data warehouse
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A large-scale electronic repository of data that contains and organizes in one place all the data related to an organization.
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data type (field type)
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An attribute of a data field that determines what type of data can be stored in the database field or memory location.
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data staging
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A three-step process: extracting data from source databases, transforming (reformatting) the data, and storing the data in a data warehouse.
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data redundancy
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When the same data exists in more than one place in a database.
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data mining
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The process by which great amounts of data are analyzed and investigated.
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data mart
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Small slices of a data warehouse.
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detail report
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detail report A report generated with data from a database that shows the individual transactions that occurred during a certain time period.
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default value
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The value a database will use for a field unless the user enters another value.
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enterprise resource planning (ERP) system
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System that is used to control many “back office” operations and processing functions such as billing, production, inventory management, and human resources management.
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exception report
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A report that shows conditions that are unusual or that need attention by users of a system.
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expert system
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A system designed to replicate the decision-making processes of human experts to solve specific problems.
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export
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The process of putting data into an electronic file in a format that another application can understand.
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external data source
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Any source not owned by the company that owns a decision support system, such as customer demographic data purchased from third parties.
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field
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A field where a category of information in a database is stored. Fields are displayed in columns.
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field constraint
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Any property that must be satisfied for an entry to be accepted into the database field.
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field name
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An identifying name assigned to each field in a database.
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input form
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A form that provides a view of the data fields to be filled in a database, with appropriate labels to assist database users in populating the database.
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information system
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A system that includes data, people, procedures, hardware, and software and that is used to gather and analyze information.
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hyperlink field
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A field in a database that stores hyperlinks to Web pages.
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fuzzy logic
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A type of logic that allows the interjection of experiential learning into an equation by considering probabilities.
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foreign key
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The primary key of another database table that is included for purposes of establishing relationships with another table.
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field size
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The maximum number of characters (or numbers) that a field in a database can contain.
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memo field
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A text field in a database that is used to hold long pieces of text.
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many-to-many relationship
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A database relationship in which one record in a database table (A) can have many related records in another table (B), and any record in table B can have many related records in table A.
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management information system (MIS)
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A system that provides timely and accurate information that enables managers to make critical business decisions.
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knowledge-based system
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A support system that provides additional intelligence that supplements the user’s own intellect and makes a decision support system (DSS) more effective.
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join query
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A database query that links (or joins) two database tables using a common field in both tables and extracts the relevant data from each.
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object field
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A field in a database that holds objects such as pictures, video clips, or entire documents.
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numeric check
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A data validation routine that confirms that only numbers are entered in a database field.
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normalization
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The process of recording data only once in a database to reduce data redundancy.
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natural language processing (NLP) system
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A system that enables users to communicate with computer systems using a natural spoken or written language as opposed to using computer programming languages.
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multidimensional database
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A database that stores data in multiple dimensions and is organized in a cube format.
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model management system
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A type of software that assists in building management models in decision support systems (DSSs).
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metadata
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Data that describes other data.
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object-oriented database
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A database that stores data in objects, not in tables.
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object query language (OQL)
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A query language that is used to extract information from an object-oriented database.
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office support system (OSS)
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A system (such as Microsoft Office) designed to assist employees in accomplishing their day-today tasks and to improve communications.
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one-to-many relationship
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A database relationship in which one record in a data table can have many related records in another data table.
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one-to-one relationship
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A database relationship in which one record in a data table has only one related record in another data table.
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online transaction processing (OLTP)
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The immediate processing of user requests or transactions.
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primary key (key field)
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The unique field that each database record in a table must have.
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query
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The process of requesting information from a database.
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query language
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A language used to retrieve and display records. A query language consists of its own vocabulary and sentence structure, used to frame the requests.
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range check
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A type of data validation used in databases to ensure that a value entered falls within a specified range (such as requiring a person’s age to fall in a range of between 1 and 120).
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real-time processing
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The process of updating a database (or information system) immediately as changes are made.
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record
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A collection of related fields in a database.
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relational algebra
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The use of English-like expressions that have variables and operations, much like algebraic equations.
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relation
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A database table that contains related data.
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referential integrity
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For each value in the foreign key of one table, there is a corresponding value in the primary key of the related table.
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relational database
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A database that organizes data in table format by logically grouping similar data into relations (or tables) that contain related data.
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relationship
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In relational databases, the link between tables that defines how the data are related.
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select query
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A query that displays a subset of data from a table based on the criteria the user specifies.
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sort (index)
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The process of organizing a database into a particular order.
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structured (analytical) data
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Data that can be identified and classified as discrete bits of information (such as a name or phone number). Unstructured data includes nontraditional data such as audio clips (including MP3 files), video clips, and pictures that must be viewed in their entirety rather than in discrete segments.
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structured query language (SQL)
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The most popular database query language today.
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summary report
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A report that summarizes data in some fashion (such as a total of the day’s concession sales at an amusement park). Also known as a summary data report.
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table
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In database terminology, a group of related records. Also called a file.
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text field
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A database field that can hold any combination of alphanumeric data (letters or numbers) and is most often used to hold text.
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time-variant data
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Data that doesn’t all pertain to one period in time—for example, data in a data warehouse.
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transaction processing system (TPS)
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A system used to keep track of everyday business activities (such as sales of products).
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unstructured data
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Nontraditional database data such as audio clips (including MP3 files), video clips, pictures, and extremely large documents. Data of this type is known as a binary large object (BLOB) because it is actually encoded in binary form.
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validation
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The process of ensuring that data entered into a database is correct (or at least reasonable) and complete.
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validation rule
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A rule that is set up in a database to alert the user to possible wrong entries.

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