There is a gaping hole in the current body of knowledge and practice within enterprise data warehousing (EDW). That hole manifests itself not merely in the EDW, but also, by extension, within the host of satellite systems that surround it (business intelligence, customer relationship management, supply chain management, corporate performance management, etc.) The modern-day EDW suffers from a content deficiency that renders the EDW something like a cracked slab, which no amount of downstream spackling and tape can remedy. What precisely is the nature of this content deficiency?

To answer that, let's start with a brief synopsis of the work of the current thought leaders in our field: EDW fathers Bill Inmon and Ralph Kimball have done an excellent job of taxonomizing the EDW's critical components and functions (thank you Mr. Inmon) and articulating schematic design principles that can be successfully implemented (thank you Mr. Kimball).1, 2 And so, we have plenty of guidance as to what comprises the EDW and how to effectively design and build one. The field is due for an infusion of new insight around the all-important question of why, and we in the industry need to rethink our answer to this question, because the answer to why informs the how of what we do.

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