In telecommunications, computing, and information architecture, a data bank or databank is a repository of information on one or more subjects – a database – that is organized in a way that facilitates local or remote information retrieval and is able to process many continual queries over a long period of time.
A data bank may be either centralized or decentralized, though most usage of this term refers to centralized storage and retrieval of information, by way of analogy to a monetary bank. The data in a data bank can be anything from scientific information like global temperature readings, and governmental information like census statistics, to financial-system records like credit card transactions, or the inventory available from various suppliers.
Data bank may also refer to an organization primarily concerned with the construction and maintenance of such a database. The term databank is also obsolete (1960s through 1970s) computer jargon for database itself, and is frequently used in that sense in materials written in that period.