As a coach of my sons' soccer teams, I've noticed something that occasionally holds back the ambitious players. Rather than focusing on basics, such as learning good ball control, they are seduced by the lure of scoring. But without good basic skills, they don't have the ability to score.

The same thing happens in business. As a consultant, my job is to guide clients through all the stages of a business intelligence (BI)/data warehouse (DW) project. Ideally they avoid the common mistakes of a neophyte, but some businesses don't have the patience to learn. They want to jump right into the game and end up learning the expensive way: by trial and error.

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