Dear Readers,

Recently there has been a tremendous amount of controversy over how successful data warehousing and business intelligence initiatives have been to date. There are many within the industry quoting high failure rates and prescribing simple data mart solutions. The reason for all the controversy is that data warehousing initiatives are very complex and require a tremendous amount of planning by both corporate and IT management. There are no silver bullets. The possiblity of success decreases significantly if the initiative is driven by IT with limited business involvement. The chances for success increase dramatically when a top-down approach is taken that encompasses all of the key business drivers within an organization. This requires a management team that is focused on goals at the enterprise level which would require making tradeoffs at the department level so that the best business decisions can be made.

If we compare the information age to the industrial age, there is a tremendous amount of similarity. In the industrial age we came up with a complete set of engineering drawings that encompassed all of the components prior to the development of a specific automobile. This is very similar to coming up with a subject area data model which encompasses all of the critical data elements for each subject area prior to incorporating it within the enterprise data model. As the enterprise data model is being built incrementally by subject area, so is the data warehouse where each iteration will provide benefits that will help fund the next iteration. This requires a combined effort from those executing the business vision and IT management which is responsible for the development of the information infrastructure.

The organizations that succeed in the information age will be driving their business intelligence strategies on top of a fully integrated data warehousing foundation.

In this issue we are pleased to welcome four new columnists. Clive Finkelstein's column is entitled "The Enterprise," Claudia Imhoff provides her unique insights with "Intelligent Solutions," David Marco will be writing "Data Administration and Meta Data Management" each month and Vijay Sankaran enlightens us with "Data Warehousing Horizons." Thanks to these industry experts for agreeing to share their knowledge with all DM Review readers.

As always, thanks for reading DM Review!

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