All too often the purpose of building a data warehouse to allow business people to get timely answers to business questions is overlooked in the development of that data warehouse. For a technology that can have a dramatic impact on a business, many data warehouse architectures miss the mark and rarely achieve the business goals initially anticipated. The cause: rarely do the individuals responsible for and involved in the development of the warehouse take a true "top-down," business-driven approach to building the data warehouse. The top-down, business-driven approach is as much a philosophy as it is a methodology. Over the past years, consultants have seen it all--from technically superior projects that are met with indifference to technically controlled projects that are met with disdain. We hope to share our real-life experiences and a practical approach to help your organization succeed.

Within every organization that is considering a data warehouse development project, many of the same frustrations exist. These common themes are true business opportunities that a data warehouse can assist in achieving. Whenever one or more of the following is heard, it is a signal that a true business reason exists for building a data warehouse:

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