"Six degrees of separation" refers to the assertion that any person on the planet is connected to every other by five relationships with other people. For instance, if I needed to get a message to central Mongolia but did not have the phone number or address, I would communicate it to my neighbor, who know someone in Bangalore, India, who, in turn, knows someone in Singapore, who knows someone in Beijing, who knows someone who is neighbors with the recipient in Ulanbantor in Mongolia, and hands it off. Five hops, six degrees of separation.1

Connecting the dots between the business and the underlying technology in the case of extract, transform and load (ETL) technology can be a tricky undertaking and ends up working similar to our example of passing that post card from Chicago to Mongolia through six degrees of separation. This will require a bit of set up and some work, but it is well worth considering given the need to build the business case for technologies that are not always intuitively or directly relevant to business operations.

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