A survey of participants in an online webinar panel forum hosted by Kalido, a provider of enterprise data warehousing and master data management software, cited an increased demand on data warehousing projects within their organizations - an increase also documented in recent market growth predictions by industry analysts. The online discussion addressed recent technology innovation and key business drivers that are spurring a renewed interest in data warehousing for Global 2000 organizations.
According to market research firm IDC, the total data warehouse market is expected to grow to $13.5 billion in 2009 at a nine percent compound annual growth rate. Supporting IDC's findings, when asked about the prevalence of data warehousing projects within their current corporate environments, 75 percent of the Kalido webinar survey respondents confirmed that it was increasing - validating a renewed interest in innovative new approaches to enterprise data warehousing.
This increase is correlated in many other studies citing the steady rise of business intelligence projects - for which data warehousing is a key component - in terms of organizational priority. These changing priorities have served as a catalyst to drive the transformation of today's data warehousing industry and to force companies to develop data warehousing projects that are timely, business-centric and responsive to changing business needs. The integration of business intelligence (BI) into operations, innovations in data warehousing and information management technologies, and regulatory compliance requirements are the primary drivers behind this renewed interest in data warehousing.
"Companies need to have the right data at the right time to make intelligent business decisions, recognize inefficiencies and capitalize on opportunities," said Claudia Imhoff, president and founder Intelligent Solutions. "Today's enterprise-wide implementations of data warehouses need to be flexible enough to deliver incremental value in stages relevant to the individual business. The data warehouses of today's renaissance are the foundation for intelligent business operations in a dynamic environment."
When asked about their top technology priority for 2006, respondents showed a clear need to obtain a consolidated, single view of their business across all systems, with data integration (28 percent) and master data management (25 percent) leading the list. The panelists expanded on this topic further, discussing how continued innovation in data integration and adaptive data warehousing - and the advent of newer technology devoted to master data management (MDM) - enabled organizations to gain greater understanding of their business despite continuous business changes (e.g., merger and acquisitions, regional/product realignment, evolving regulations). They also noted that organizations should view data as a reusable corporate asset rather than bound to one application or function.
While organizations still need to begin the data warehousing project with a problem-specific implementation, all data warehouse initiatives should be grounded in the greater corporate strategy for it to be truly effective.
"One of the most challenging things for organizations to find and bring into the data warehousing world is a person that has a foot on both sides of the line - someone who can appreciate what the business' priorities are and, at the same time, can articulate them to the IT side so that those priorities can be executed upon," said Faisal Shah, CTO and co-founder of Knightsbridge Solutions. "Sometimes we find that individual in IT and sometimes we find that individual on the business side. But it's important to look for somebody that can play that role."
When participants responding to the online survey were asked what they would change about data warehousing technology if they could, approximately one-third (32 percent) of participants called for improvements in information quality, while 22 percent cited solutions that are easier to change. It is critical for enterprises to have a stronghold on the overall conceptual architecture and business roadmap of the project so corporations can ensure that the data warehouse initiative does not act as a band-aid solution, but rather as an evolving project to meet both today and tomorrow's business needs.
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