A knowledge warehouse is the component of an enterprise's knowledge management system where knowledge is developed, stored, organized, processed, and disseminated. (A knowledge warehouse can also be called a data repository.)
According to consultant and author Stanley Davis, "...information is about taking data and putting it into a meaningful pattern. Knowledge is the ability to use that information." Thus, a knowledge warehouse comprises not just data, but information and applications that help an enterprise use its data to best advantage, such as procedural knowledge, business rules, best practices, directories, and decision support systems. In addition to the business sector, knowledge warehouses are used in a variety of other environments, including educational, security, justice, and medical systems.
Typically, users interact with a knowledge warehouse through a portal-like interface that enables customized access to various elements, such as databases, presentations, and data, audio, and video files. A knowledge warehouse may be developed for a specific use or bought as a customizable product. Packaged versions are available from a number of vendors, including Ibex, ISYS, and SAP.
SAP Knowledge Warehouse (KW) provides an infrastructure and front-end tools for the development, exchange, integration, translation, and transfer of multimedia enterprise knowledge. SAP's KW product (formerly called the Advanced Training Solution) includes methods to enable integration into a wide variety of information systems. As an option, BW includes reusable and modifiable SAP content, such as data models, product information, training materials, and documentation.