Although much has been written about the architecture and technology that drives real-time decision-making systems, there has been less discussion about the organizational and cultural issues involved in delivering a successful real-time environment.

There are several critical factors involved in real-time BI systems that have nothing to do with technology. For example, it's imperative that you understand how your businesspeople define real time and what they are willing to pay to reduce the latency of certain types of information. Your organization needs to restructure business processes to ensure real-time decision-makers are empowered to act on the real-time information, not just analyze it. Finally, users need to understand the limits of real-time data in terms of cleanliness and latency. A "Buyer beware!" sign needs to accompany the delivery of real-time data in the data warehouse.

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