How smart is smart? Business intelligence in general and data mining specifically require the capability of closing the loop – of enabling business action on decision support information – to be effective. You have a data warehouse that enables business intelligence; however, intelligence is not worth much unless one is able to act on it! If your organization has not yet begun an initiative to create an operational data store to enable real-time decision making, there is no time like the present. Despite our economic woes, there are many reasons to take advantage of the situation and enable operational action based on analytical information; in fact, there are at least 10 of them! The following are my top-ten reasons (in reverse order) to use the downturn to benefit that initiative – now!

10. If you need hardware/servers to implement your operational data store, you can now pick up some used servers – cheap! Companies going out of business will have hardware assets that may be available at a very reasonable cost – if you can find the right equipment for your needs. It's worth checking. If you prefer to buy new equipment, hardware vendors will be very motivated to make their sales numbers, which may translate into very real price reductions for you.

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