Perhaps you've seen or used a child's toy that includes a hammer of some sort. Kids just love hammer toys. They seem to have some pre-wired talent for hammering. Watching them learn the art of hammering can be entertaining, too--at least at first. Then comes the moment when they realize that it might be fun to hammer other things in their environment. Like the cat, the dog, the coffee table and their siblings. So, we teach them that hammers are good in some situations and not so good in others.

In this regard, the operational data store (ODS) has some remarkable similarities to the hammer. The ODS has been around for a while. It is gaining acceptance and credibility as a tool. But unfortunately, the ODS is being used where another tool would probably work better.

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