Giga surveys over the past 18 months have indicated that more than 65 percent of Giga clients have data warehousing systems in production. This clearly indicates the availability of a critical mass of experience as to what works and what doesn't. Giga recently asked end-user clients what they consider the weaknesses in their production data warehouses as well as what they would do differently if they had the chance. The results represent an opportunity to avoid the mistakes of others. Attention to these lessons learned is critical to reducing the risk of surprises. This, in turn, allows the data warehousing system to become a focal point for organizations building high-impact business applications. Such applications typically include those that substitute information for inventory (supply chain management), customer relationship management (CRM) and market trend analysis.

In the most recent Giga survey of data warehousing (completed late 2001), end-user clients were asked what they consider the weaknesses in their production data warehouses as well as what they would do differently if they had the chance. One key finding: Surprises such as technical and organizational misalignment, solving the wrong problem, disappointed customers, or scheduling or budget overruns were often found and caused serious problems. The overriding recommendation is that in order to build and operate the data warehouse effectively, you must assemble and manage a cross-functional team with strong executive support and a clear business case.

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