Among data warehousing and business intelligence practitioners, there seems to be a prevailing view that the most important DM/BI benefits are intangible and possible to quantify only after a costly BI effort achieves success. Business cases for DM/BI often rely on vaguely specified better future conditions and hope that an executive sponsor [can] envision the value of the program.1

Even so, by now there are well-documented instances of companies with market dominance directly attributable to DM/BI effectiveness. Shareholders of companies like Amazon.com, Harrah’s and Wal-Mart would agree that DM/BI systems have delivered very tangible benefits over the past decade.

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