Data warehousing has served us well over the past 15 years. It has allowed us to avoid the tyranny of business-as-usual as our only option. It has transitioned our legacy systems into the new e-commerce world. It has been a stepping-stone into the next-generation architectures for enterprise systems. Basically, it has reduced risk and decision time in dealing with those unconventional, unanticipated and messy business situations.

Warehousing has historically evolved to compensate for the deficiencies in operational systems. Reporting and especially analysis were afterthoughts for those legacy systems. We knew how to run our businesses. We assumed that processes were certain, exceptions were rare and markets were predictable. How naive this seems, given the uncertainties of the new millennium!

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