Recently i came into contact with a vendor of what can best be considered a “Public Dataset” where the company does some enrichment of this data – and this is their value proposition. The vendor’s sales person / account manager was using the term “Universe” to describe what my employers, as clients, had purchased. Being not really in either datawarehousing or business intelligence parts of the company – i just assumed that this term is somehow standard. At least everyone involved in this discussion did not bat an eye.
Today however, for some unknown reason – i just thought – gee, it’s rather presumptuous to call a dataset a “Universe”. It makes the term “Cloud” seem rather puny.
Interresting enough is that the Wikipedia article on datawarehousing doesn’t mention the term “Universe” once. It seems that SAP’s BusinessObjects calls a metadata construct which helps a reporting client map SQL queries onto to a set of database relational tables, Data Warehouse or Data Mart. So from what I can tell, it’s just SAP’s delusions of grandeur which have brought us this great IT term.