Q: What is the current state of data warehousing and data mining in terms of its widespread use, its growth and technological advances? And also what are likely to be the next biggest breakthroughs in data mining technology?

The current state of data warehousing (DW) and data mining has been influenced greatly by the recession and technical spending slump, but it has also been influenced by the advances in technologies and in the increasing need for reliable, robust and timely data for decision-making. This combination of forces has led to many companies re-examining the DW and data mining projects that they began in the late 1990s and early in this decade - with a view toward expanding the use of available operational data for decision-making. These companies are enhancing their DW programs and may be adding new data for analysis, new functionality for their users and, perhaps, bringing the DW to more departments if it is an enterprise warehouse. Companies that began data mart projects are split between those who are staying with data marts and either expanding them or creating new marts for new areas and those who are examining the need to move to an enterprise DW. Some new DW projects have been started by companies who avoided DW's in their first incarnation, and it seems as if these new projects are split 50/50 between enterprise-oriented DWs and data marts. Data mining technology is benefiting from advances in tools (graphical, increased query power, more support for unstructured data analysis) and in performance and storage of the servers used for these operations.

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