Companies can set internal deadlines for building CRM platforms and CRM-enabled data warehouses, but the project shouldn't take longer than 10 months to complete. Before getting started, companies also need to address the key business reasons the enterprise is building a CRM platform, which includes measuring revenue or costs by customer, providing dimensional analysis of customer information, capturing and measuring customer interactions and measuring customer attrition. "Data warehousing in support of CRM is not a technology project," Jeff Gentry, president of Technology to Value LLC told seminar attendees Monday at TDWI World Conference -- Spring 2001 in Washington, D.C. "It is a business project requiring technology support." One of the first projects most companies undertake in a CRM initiative is building a data mart of customer profiles. With such a data mart, companies can then begin looking at solving particular business problems such as reduced customer attrition and weaker customer interaction. "An effort to clean up customer data should be done in a manner that will continue to add value in the future," Gentry says.

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