Everyone agrees that constructing a meta data repository is critical for accessing and maintaining a decision support system (DSS). Without meta data, the warehouse becomes a modern day version of a "stovepipe application." Since we all understand this concept, why isn't anyone doing it? Rarely do companies successfully implement an active meta data repository that their users can employ to access the reports, queries and data located in the DSS system. In fact, most companies' meta data repository can be accurately described as a disaster. It is common to see a non-architected, non-accessible repository containing a small, inaccurate subset of the actual meta data that the corporation really needs.

What I would like to accomplish in this article is to provide a complete, full life cycle approach to defining requirements, creating, controlling and accessing a meta data repository.

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