Corporate Information Factory

Definition of Corporate Information Factory

The Corporate Information Factory (CIF) is a data management and analytics framework developed by Bill Inmon and Claudia Imhoff. It is designed to provide organizations with a structured approach to organizing and integrating data from various sources, ultimately streamlining decision making and business intelligence processes. The framework involves the use of data warehouses, data marts, and operational data stores to enable efficient sharing and storage of data across the entire enterprise.


The phonetics for the keyword ‘Corporate Information Factory’ are:K-O-R-P-R-I-T I-N-F-O-R-M-A-Y-S-H-U-N F-A-K-T-R-I

Key Takeaways

  1. Corporate Information Factory (CIF) is an architecture that enables efficient and effective data integration, management, and utilization across an organization.
  2. The CIF framework comprises four main components, which include Operational Systems, Data Acquisition, Data Warehouse, and Data Delivery, working together to drive better decision-making and analytics.
  3. CIF is a scalable, flexible, and modular architecture that can be customized according to an organization’s specific data needs, allowing for continuous improvement and future expansion without needing to overhaul the entire system.

Importance of Corporate Information Factory

The term Corporate Information Factory (CIF) is important because it represents a comprehensive data management and processing framework that enables businesses to effectively manage, integrate, and analyze data from various sources.

Developed by Bill Inmon and Claudia Imhoff, the CIF architecture provides a well-structured method for consolidating and transforming data into valuable information and actionable insights.

It integrates operational systems, data warehouses, data marts, and analytical tools, allowing organizations to make informed, data-driven decisions.

Consequently, the CIF plays a vital role in enhancing a business’ overall operational efficiency, competitive advantage, and strategic planning by ensuring that accurate and timely information is readily available to decision-makers.


The Corporate Information Factory (CIF) serves as an essential backbone within an organization’s data management and analytic ecosystem, enabling businesses to extract valuable insights and make well-informed decisions. The fundamental purpose of CIF is to integrate various data sources, ranging from transactional records to customer and employee data, and thus provide a comprehensive, consolidated, and accurate flow of data.

With this comprehensive data access, companies can gain a holistic understanding of their operations, uncover potential growth opportunities, and pinpoint areas in need of improvement. Furthermore, the CIF’s structured and organized system facilitates efficient data access, making it easier for stakeholders, such as decision-makers and analysts, to dive into the data and extract relevant information.

By offering the Corporate Information Factory, organizations are better equipped for leveraging data-driven strategies and informed decision-making. The CIF is designed to adapt to evolving business needs and can support a wide range of analysis techniques, from basic reporting and performance tracking to advanced predictive analytics and data mining.

With its emphasis on unified data management, data quality, and accuracy, the CIF empowers businesses to make confident and strategic decisions, ultimately driving organizational growth, competitiveness, and innovation. In today’s fast-paced and data-centric world, the CIF serves as a vital tool in helping organizations effectively navigate a complex landscape of information, while ensuring their data is utilized to its fullest potential.

Examples of Corporate Information Factory

The Corporate Information Factory (CIF) is a data architecture model designed by Bill Inmon and Claudia Imhoff, which provides a comprehensive framework for storing, managing, and accessing enterprise data. The CIF model consists of various components such as the operational data store (ODS), data warehouse, data marts, and data delivery methods to support business intelligence and analytics. Here are three real-world examples of companies that have implemented the CIF model to improve their data management and decision-making processes:

United Parcel Service (UPS):UPS, a global logistics and parcel delivery company, has implemented a CIF-based framework to integrate and analyze data from various sources such as finance, operations, customer service, and sales data. By consolidating all this data into a single data warehouse, UPS can now perform advanced analytics and generate insights to optimize operations, improve customer service, and reduce costs.

Air France-KLM:The airline company, Air France-KLM, has integrated the CIF model into their organization to manage and analyze vast amounts of customer, flight, and operational data from various internal and external sources. By developing a comprehensive data warehouse and using data marts for specific business units, the company has been able to improve operational efficiency and provide better services to customers using data-driven insights.

British Telecom (BT):Telecommunication company, British Telecom, uses the CIF model to manage the massive data generated from their customer engagements, network operations, and corporate functions. They’ve integrated various data sources into a single data warehouse, enabling the analytics team to track customer behavior, analyze network performance, and identify potential issues and opportunities. This has led to improved customer satisfaction, reduced costs, and optimized network performance.

Corporate Information Factory FAQ

Q1: What is a Corporate Information Factory?

A1: The Corporate Information Factory (CIF) is a data warehousing architecture that provides a comprehensive framework for managing an organization’s data assets. Developed by Bill Inmon, Cynthia Parr, and Richard Kimball, the CIF ensures the availability of high-quality data for analytics, reporting, and decision-making purposes.

Q2: What are the main components of the Corporate Information Factory?

A2: The main components of the CIF include data acquisition, the data warehouse, the data marts, the operational data store (ODS), and the various delivery channels for information. Each layer has its specific role in capturing, storing, and delivering consistent and reliable information across the organization.

Q3: What is the difference between a CIF and a traditional data warehouse?

A3: While both approaches aim to manage data for analytics and decision-making, a traditional data warehouse often focuses on a single, large-scale repository of all enterprise data. The CIF, on the other hand, includes additional components such as the ODS and data marts, which collectively offer a more comprehensive, flexible, and scalable solution for data management.

Q4: How does the Corporate Information Factory support Big Data and analytics?

A4: The CIF is designed to handle data from various sources, including structured and unstructured data, such as social media, IoT devices, and multimedia files. By integrating the data and transforming it into usable formats, the CIF allows organizations to effectively leverage Big Data and analytics to drive better decision-making and gain insights.

Q5: What is the role of the Operational Data Store (ODS) in the CIF?

A5: The Operational Data Store is an intermediate layer within the CIF that serves as a near-real-time integration point for operational and transactional data. The ODS helps maintain data consistency and integrity throughout the data flow, while also providing a more efficient way to access data required for tactical decision-making.

Related Technology Terms

  • Data Warehouse
  • Business Intelligence
  • ETL (Extract, Transform, Load)
  • Data Mart
  • Operational Data Store (ODS)

Sources for More Information


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