The best way to predict the future is to make it up. And, that is essentially what data warehouses are doing today. These critical decision support tools help companies predict the future by providing knowledge of what has happened in the past. Your data warehouse is a competitive weapon and can be the foundation for your strategic direction. It is far too important not to wisely spend money on it; but make no mistake, there is a vast difference between added value and excess costs.

Some of the hidden and sometimes excessive costs in data warehousing include data maintenance, data reorganizations, data placement, system administration and query optimization costs. A common mistake made by many companies is to choose the wrong database or structure and then throw people at it to fix the problems ­ expanding in an ever-larger cost spiral.

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