Administrative data is used to help the data warehouse administrator manage the warehouse. These data may include profiles of users and order history data. Many organizational policies, standards, conventions and definitions are based on administrative data.
In a data warehouse, a multiple variety of information from different sources are integrated to be transformed into multidimensional representation to be used for decision support application. The data warehouse management is characterized by a very complex life cycle that involves a very complex architecture, data sources, data staging are, global data warehouse, client data marts and many others. The manager of a data warehouse deals with a complex structure in administrative processes. As time progresses, the organization’s basic rules change, new data are being requested by end users and new data are coming into the warehouse.
Administrative data are primarily used to analyze trends in an organization. For example, in a hospital, birth records are used to collect birth rates in a particular area. These records can also be used in other trends like information on pre natal care, gestation period, birth weights, birth outcomes and many others. As a result, these trends can be used to assess access level to good medical facilities.
Administrative data is critical to an organization. It is imperative that the database administrator should strike a balance between data access and data privacy and security. Data access can be controlled but the use can be misinterpreted. But between data access and data privacy and security, the latter is a more delicate issue. When privacy is violated, it can be hard to reverse the effect which may include the organization’s financial or individual integrity.
Different organization have different policies when it comes to access to administrative data. In most cases, administrative data that are very critical are under the hood only of the database administrator. Some relatively critical data may be obtained with a written permission from the database administrator or from a higher authority.
Many big organizations delegate information owners for administrative data in separate services. Business services may be broken down into E-commerce operation, financial and purchasing, human resource and employment and each may have administrative data delegate to separate persons.
Countries use administrative data for census and statistical purposes. Data from different sources like national agencies and other private organizations are collated to come to up with better guide in delivery of basic services and good governance. These data can give a wide variety of profiles from different geographic and ethnic boundaries.
The United Nations, in its efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) which include halving poverty by 50 percent by the year 2015, is updating its data warehouse every year and administrative data is used to analyze the progress of their efforts to meet the MDG. This is a collaboration not just of the more than 50 member nations but also of the different private and non government agencies around the world.
School and universities are also big users of administrative data to determine internal and external policies. Several universities in Europe and the United States have student administration and data warehousing to determine which courses are being enrolled by many students and how relevant these courses are to the demands of the companies outside. The same administrative data can also generate student statistics like what percent of the students come from what place and what age range is enrolled in a particular degree course.
Many application severs have administrative servers which manage data and execute defined policies in terms of access and privacy. The administrative database can also allow centralized administration while others share data on various computers.