In information technology to drill down means to request — or seek out — additional information on a specific subject. In a GUI-environment, drilling down may involve clicking on a link or other representation to reveal more detail.
To drill down through a series of notebooks, for example, on a desktop means to move through the hierarchy of folders to find a specific file.
Drilling down through a database involves accessing information by starting with a general category and requesting more specific information through successive database queries, with each query informing the next, and increasing data granularity.
In a data warehouse the drill down involves grouping fact data and referencing some dimensional data possibly used to filter and/or group the data. When multiple dimensions are conformed it is possibile to do drill-across multiple dimensions: this means doing drill down of data referencing multiple separate dimensions that share a column bearing the same name and meaning.
For an alternative data-extraction metaphor, see data mining.
Drill up is the opposite off drill down. For example, if you drill down for to see the revenue of one product, then you might want to drill up to see the revenue of all products.
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