One of the main reasons singular database, all-encompassing data warehousing efforts have had challenges is their demand that each dimension, such as customer, have a singular representation. This goes beyond compiling all the attributes that are needed by each business unit for customer. The granularity of customer, the identification of customer and the cleansing rules for customer can all be subject to debate between sales, marketing, manufacturing, call center and other business units.

The merit of having a view of the customer with widespread agreement is obvious – efficiencies of operation and improved time-to-market achieved by bypassing the onerous step of reconciling numerous customer lists into one.

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