Ask any database practitioner why a data warehouse is important and the answer will approximate: It is important because data warehousing supports corporate strategic advantage. Among other things, data warehouses support understanding the 360-degree view of the customer. A 360-degree view of the customer enables you to cross-sell, sell into households, qualify customers and so forth. In short, you have a world of business opportunity open to you, all through the foundation that is the data warehouse.

However, the reality of achieving a 360-degree view of the customer has been much more difficult than theory would suggest. There are several pitfalls awaiting the practitioner trying to build the data warehouse utopia for customer management, such as:

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