In the world of data warehousing, sometimes the only thing that appears constant is change. Convincing people to give up their fragmented reports and spreadsheets to devote time (and money) to build a data warehouse requires letting go of the old and risking the unknown of the new. The new data warehouse can cause disruption to the existing process and introduces distrust for the "new" numbers. Logic would dictate that if the new numbers are right, then someone has to have been wrong up until now. Just as soon as you deliver the first data mart or warehouse that includes everything that the business users said they wanted, they want something different. More change. How can you ever get finished with the data warehouse if people don't stop changing it? Is there no end?
The answer comes in the realization that the whole purpose of the data warehouse is to instigate change. By providing insight into the business that didn't exist before, we learn. As we learn, we can adjust and fine-tune the business to achieve our goals. The data warehouse is an instrument of change. To maximize the value of change, the data warehouse must anticipate change, adapt to it and facilitate change. It must be designed from the ground up to embrace change. How can we build in this affinity for change?
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