Last month, we talked about the life cycle to transform data into action: data, information, insight, strategy and action. This month we focus on the information aspect. Disparate systems are built out of necessity, time constraints and the continual move to packaged applications. The ability to extract, integrate, clean, consolidate, household and audit your organization's information is critical and forms the foundation for your successful customer intelligence (CI) initiative. As mentioned in my August column, ETL has been the major challenge for organizations building their business intelligence capabilities since the advent of data warehousing. However, new age data warehouse professionals turn ETL, data integration and data quality challenges into a business enabler, instead of an impediment.
ETL, and the integration of your information, should not be a constraint or bottleneck to your CI initiative. This is a mind-set and philosophical change. With the maturity of ETL technology and methodology from market leaders such as Informatica and Ascential, organizations have substantially decreased the time to market for their CI initiatives. New channels, new applications and new customer preferences can be integrated into customer information repositories faster than ever. Data integration issues are no longer the anchor weighing down the scope of your project.
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