"...The data warehouse is nothing more than the union of all the data marts...," Ralph Kimball, December 29, 1997. "You can catch all the minnows in the ocean and stack them together and they still do not make a whale," Bill Inmon, January 8, 1998.

The single most important issue facing the information technology manager this year is whether to build the data warehouse first or the data mart first. The data mart vendors have said that data warehouses are difficult and expensive to build, take a long time to design and develop, require thought and investment, and mandate that the corporation face difficult issues such as integration of legacy data, managing massive volumes of data and cost justifying the entire DSS/data warehouse effort to the management committee. The picture painted by the data mart advocates for building the data warehouse is gloomy. It is also self-serving and incorrect.

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