There is a severe disease that has spread to epidemic proportions throughout our society. This disease is particularly dangerous as its effects are not readily identifiable at the time of infection. However, if this condition goes untreated, it can be debilitating and even terminal. This disease is not hepatitis, but rather "independent" data marts. While this imagery may seem a bit dramatic, unfortunately it reflects the reality in many of today's companies. This article is the first of a two-part series on migrating from independent data marts to an architected solution. This installment will address the characteristics of independent data marts, the flaws in their architecture and the reasons why they exist. Part two will run in the December issue of DM Review and will address specifically how a company can migrate off of the independent data mart architecture to an architected solution.

Independent data marts are characterized by several traits. First, each data mart is sourced directly from the operational systems without an enterprise data warehouse to supply the architecture necessary to sustain and grow the data marts. Second, these data marts are typically built independently from one another by autonomous teams. Typically, these teams will utilize varying tools, software, hardware and processes.

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