Over the years a lot has been written about the importance of meta data for data warehousing. In simple terms, meta data is information about data and is critical for not only the business user but also data warehouse administrators and developers. Without meta data, business users will be like tourists left in a new city without any information about the city, and data warehouse administrators will be like the town administrators who have no idea about the size of the city or how fast it is growing.

Despite its criticality, meta data continues to remain the most neglected part of many data warehousing projects. "We shall worry about it later" is usually the approach.

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