Over the last year, this column has looked at several interesting business intelligence (BI) trends that highlight the tremendous potential of the data warehouse. Operational BI (embedding BI into the operations of the organization), event-based marketing (triggering customer communications from behavior pattern changes) and contact optimization (ensuring timely, relevant communications) are a few of the powerful applications that we have touched on. However, I have not mentioned that along with success comes heightened visibility, and if we are lucky, increased demand for new capabilities.

One mechanism that data warehouse teams employ to stay ahead of the curve is the BI center of excellence (COE). As with other popular BI terms, there are many definitions for COE. I have two favorites that I think complement each other quite nicely. The first definition is one that my organization, Intelligent Solutions, Inc. (ISI), developed: “The COE is the set of people, processes and technologies for promoting collaboration and the application of best practices. This includes methodology, best practices, education and training, support services and technology awareness.”

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