Every day, massive amounts of data pour into your business--sales transactions, inventory figures, billing information, marketing campaign responses and much more. In fact, more data arrives at your business each day than anyone can be expected to look at, let alone successfully use for decision making. Operational applications that run your day-to-day business processes also generate a tremendous amount of data that can provide added value when used as input for decision making. But most organizations suffer from an overabundance of redundant and inconsistent data that is difficult to manage effectively and use for decision making. The reality is that effective decision making relies on information that can originate from end users and data professionals alike. To ensure the quality of that data is, of course, essential. Without data quality you have nothing to rely upon. You can only ensure data quality with a foundation of sound data modeling. Once you've completed your data modeling to build a reliable data warehouse, you can start to mine the data for new market opportunities. And that's where the excitement begins.

Traditionally, the application development and execution environments were separate, requiring separate administration teams with separate controls and versions of data assets. As a result, the data assets used to build application systems were not guaranteed to be in sync with the operational databases used to run the business, leading to problems as the applications were deployed. Add in the rapid acceptance and implementation of data warehouses, and this synchronization becomes even more complex and more difficult to manage.

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