As the use of the Internet as a channel and e-business models have matured, a key trend is the merging of e-business initiatives with the rest of a company's operations. Carrying out these efforts requires increased visibility into all aspects of the business, both on the Web and off. This drives the need for an integrated view of all of the business data in the data warehouse.

Many enterprises already have some form of data warehouse to support business intelligence for the non-Web aspects of the business. Many of these companies have also installed some Web analytics tools, although they are typically separate from the rest of the data warehousing infrastructure. Examples of this include standalone packages such as WebTrends or outsourced Web analytics platforms that are incapable of bringing together information from both the Web site and back-end transactional systems, particularly when the data is stored in a data warehouse. The canned reports generated by these tools usually revolve around statistics that can be gleaned from site traffic, but are not structured to answer key business questions or provide a flexible analytical environment.

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