Teradata, a division of NCR, continues to push for companies to discontinue data marts and build centralized data warehouses.

“Too many companies are struggling because their technology infrastructure is based on data marts that support specific back-end functions such as supply chain management and front-end operations like marketing and sales,” pointed out Mark Hurd, president of NCR Corp. and chief operating officer of Teradata. Hurd made his remarks at a recent seminar series in Seoul, Tokyo and Shanghai. With separate data marts, companies not only lose an integrated view of their data but also experience higher costs and failure rates than with enterprise decision support systems such as data warehousing.

"This is borne out by industry analyst reports as well as our own experience, which shows that the average annual cost of a data mart is approximately $2 million," Hurd says. With the data warehousing approach, enterprise resource planning and supply chain management systems on the back end all feed data into a single enterprise data warehouse environment. At the same time, front-office operational systems that support sales, marketing, e- business and other front-office functions all feed the same enterprise data warehouse.

"The result is better, faster operations as well as better, faster customer communications. The result is a more competitive company, he says. Even though one large data warehousing vendor is calling for their end, industry analysts aren’t expecting companies to eliminate their data marts any time soon. “Companies are going to have both and they can’t be outlawed,” says Mike Schiff, vice president of e-business and business intelligence for Current Analysis Inc. “You need a data warehouse architecture that integrates both. It is not an ‘either/or’ situation.”

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