It is almost impossible nowadays not to notice the trend for data warehouses and data marts. Their role in strategic decision making is increasing rapidly as they turn data into knowledge. As the business community hears of their contribution to the profits, almost everyone is making plans to implement one. Some are asking the software vendors to bundle a decision support solution either as a part of their standard offering or an option. There are others who want to build their own with the help of experts. Even though there are many vendors who are offering tools to build a data warehouse/mart solution, many customers are finding that they still need to do some work themselves to have one up and running. This is mainly due to the fact that every company has a uniquely different culture, environment and requirements.
Implementing a corporate-wide DSS requires good planning from the start. According to a recent survey done by Sentry Market Research, "managing expectations" was rated as the most challenging aspect of building such a system. Another survey done by the Data Warehouse Institute in 1996 shows that enterprise DSS users double in the first six months. Therefore, choosing a scalable implementation methodology becomes a major consideration, and one must plan" for scalability.
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