Years of experience with data and information have taught our industry the value of business intelligence (BI). Most executives appreciate the need for BI and are not averse to funding BI initiatives. However, they continue to be frustrated with the lack of support for decision-making. They express little confidence in the reports that the BI solutions provide. Arguments ensue about not just the semantics of the data, but about the quality of the data itself. A saying is attributed to the former U.S. Senator, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, "You are entitled to your opinions, but you are not entitled to your own facts." Unfortunately, BI does not prevent its users from creating different versions of the truth. Additionally, BI solutions are designed from a functional perspective; at best, they have a tenuous link with the underlying business processes that flow across functional boundaries. This hinders users from correlating BI with end-to-end business processes.
Two causes contribute to this sad state of affairs: BI creates an artificial barrier between transactional (OLTP) data and historical (OLAP) data, and it does nothing to prevent a tight coupling between applications and data.
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