Data tracking involves tracing data from the point of its origin to its final state. Data tracking is very useful in a data warehouse implementation. As it is very well known, a data warehouse is very complex system that involves disparate data coming various operational data sources and data marts.
Hence, data keeps traveling from one server to another. Data tracking helps develop data collection proficiency at each site when proper management actions are being taken to ensure data integrity.
Some servers handle data processes by archiving raw, compute and test data automatically. Raw data are stored exactly in the format as its was received including the header, footer and all other information about the data.
Data tracking can be employed to improve the quality for transactions. For example, I do my withdrawal using the automated teller machine (ATM) and something unexpected happens to my transaction which results in the machine not dispensing any money but deducting the amount from my balance as reflected in receipt spewed out by the machine.
When I report this incident to the bank authorities, they can easily trace the series of events by tracking the data I entered into the machine and the activities that myself and the ATM machine did. Because the data is tracked, they can easily spot patterns which led to the problem and from then, they can immediately take actions to improve the services
Data tracking can also be used in cases of fraud being committed. Inside the company, if there an erring person, the data tracking process may involve inspecting the audit trail logs.
Some websites offer aggregated data through data tracking by acquiring certain fields of data using remote connection technologies. For instance, web applications can track the sales of a company which is being refreshed regularly so while a staff is on business travel or simply on holiday, he can still see what is happening in the business operation.
In another example, a website may offer a service such as an hourly update of the global weather and this can be done by tracking data from different geographical locations data sites.
But despite the uses, there also issues associate with data tracking. The issue of security and privacy is one of the biggest areas of concerns with data tracking. Many website try to install some small codes on the web browsers so that they can track the return visits of an internet user and bring up the preferences he has specified during his previous visits.
This information about the preferences is tracked from the small code copies on the computer. This code is called "cookie". Cookies in themselves are intended for good use but there many coders who have exploited their use by making them track sensitive information and steal them for bad purposes.
There are many specialized used for data tracking purposes available as free download or for commercial purposes coming with a fee. These software data tracking tools have easy to use graphical dashboards and very efficient back end programs that can give users the data they need to track on a real time basis.
Graphical data tracking applications like these make for perfect monitoring tools for database or data warehouse administrators who want to keep track of the data traveling from data mart or operational data source to another. The graphical presentation can make the administrator easily spot the erring and data and have an instant idea of where that data is currently located.
With today’s fast paced business environment, data tracking tools and devices can greatly enhance the information system of any organization in order for them to make wise decisions and corresponding moves in the face of a challenging situation.