As companies aggressively pursue their new economy business strategies, they are quickly realizing the importance of having ready access to information across their complete value chain. So whether it's implementing integrated electronic customer relationship management (e-CRM), business-to-business (B2B), employee portals or a balanced scorecard, the need for integrated, granular information is more important than ever. As a result, we are seeing a significant resurgence relative to the importance and value of the operational data store (ODS).

Most organizations today, both traditional brick and mortar and dot-coms, have a complex network of nonintegrated databases that impact their ability to rapidly respond to market changes. When information about a company's products, services, customers, employees, etc., is spread across various computer systems with different file formats, update frequencies and data access availability, it impedes the ability to respond to changing market conditions.

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