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Heavy-lifting at the Warehouse

Heavy-lifting at the Warehouse

First off let's take a look at some interesting stats from IDC's 1997 "Forecast for Management" survey.

* More than 33 per cent of all industries in Australia are considering implementing some form of data warehousing/data mining project by the end of 1997.

*Fifty-four per cent of those industries see the data warehousing/data mining technologies contributing to the operational capabilities of their organisation in the next 12 months.

*Fifty per cent of executive management who see IT as a source of competitive advantage to their organisations foresee the acquisition of data warehousing/data mining technologies in the next 12 months.

*Among those organisations indicating that they will implement a data warehouse/data mining project, more than 38 per cent will have revenues of $50-250 million.

So if you're contemplating a data warehouse implementation and company enthusiasm is running high -- join the club. Data warehouses have been hyped almost as much as the Web and perhaps with more reason. Data warehousing makes a lot of sense: take information from your business transactions, store it where anyone who needs it can get it and provide analytical tools to use the data to make better business decisions. When an organisation's survival hinges on having better information than its competitors and being able to exploit it more effectively than they do, technology that makes that possible is going to attract some serious attention.

Smart CIOs can increase their warehouses' chances of success in a number of ways. First know your industry. The driving force behind a government data warehouse is likely to differ markedly from that of a retail organisation.

Also, more than any other IS project, a warehouse must conform to users' needs.

Users almost have to lead the development effort to ensure the warehouse contains the right data.

Unfortunately, there's always the risk of building too much or too little warehouse. When deciding between building an expensive data warehouse or quickly adopting a data mart that may cause integration nightmares down the road, some CIOs conclude that the best course is to grow a warehouse piece by piece. Discover how two organisations charted their respective courses in Louisa Bryan's "Your Warehouse or Mine?". In "To Mart It or Not to Mart It?", we look at the warehouse versus mart debate, and with "Can Data Marts Grow?", we provide some "pithy" guidelines to follow if you choose the data mart path.

I hope these articles prove useful in formulating your company's plans for data warehousing.

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