In the fast-paced world of computing paradigms in which technology life cycles often resemble the Doppler effect of a train rushing by, data marts and warehouses are no longer bleeding-edge novelties. Nearly every major organization has at least one data mart or warehouse in operation, with ever- increasing numbers of executives, business analysts, strategic planners, marketers and sales managers firing off increasing numbers of increasingly complex, ad hoc queries. True, the late adopters are still navigating the issues of how to build and maintain warehouses quickly and cost-effectively, but the major players have moved on to tackle larger issues. As they envision the potential of their warehousing systems, they focus almost exclusively on data explosion and user scalability issues related to the original decision support requirements that led to the development of their existing warehouses.

Their vision of the future of warehousing is one of more users, running more queries more quickly to spot trends and anomalies, leading to more targeted, one-to-one marketing programs.

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