A road may twist and turn. At times, it may have an uphill direction, followed by a downhill segment. The road may even present a detour. Eventually, however, the road will lead to the ultimate destination. How did the Department of Revenue of the State of Washington manage to travel a straight path to data warehousing without encountering detours? It was accomplished by embracing industry standards that facilitated on-time, on- budget execution.

Originally deployed only in Fortune 100 companies, data warehouses are now much more common in organizations of all types, regardless of revenue. Through the use of lower cost industry standard technology, data warehouses are now much more affordable. The benefits that an organization can realize through a properly designed and architected data warehouse are innumerable. The State of Washington Department of Revenue was cognizant of the benefits that a data warehouse would provide, but in the past the cost was too great for this public agency to even consider. With the advent of more affordable data warehousing, capitalizing on the use of industry standard technology, Tremaine (Trim) Smith was anxious to introduce data warehousing to the Washington Department of Revenue. Smith was confident that data warehousing would enable the Department of Revenue to improve and enforce compliance with tax codes. It would also further the Department's strategic initiatives: to educate businesses to register and report properly, eliminate confusion and correct misunderstandings. Smith was determined not to let budget limitations or the lack of internal expertise compromise these goals.

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