If electronic commerce has an infrastructure supporting it, then a key component of that platform is the data warehouse, says W.H. Inmon, who delivered the keynote address Thursday at TDWI World Conference – Spring 2001 in Washington, D.C. "The secret to success in e-commerce is the infrastructure behind the Web," Inmon says. "Users simply assume performance will be good, but no infrastructure means failure." Despite the fact that the e-commerce movement has been underway for several years, Inmon, the father of data warehousing, says companies need an e-commerce infrastructure – and a data warehouse supporting it – because of performance, information management and data integration issues. "You must be responsive to changing market conditions," Inmon says. During e-commerce episodes, huge amounts of data are created by end users and the Web environment is good at tracking detailed transactions. But to be able to store and process the information, e-commerce companies need to think long and hard about implementing a data warehouse and click stream analysis. "The data warehouse makes a lot sense as a single point of integration when there are multiple Web sites," Inmon says. "Different departments can analyze the data as they like to look at it."

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