Seize control of your data
Corporations have been accumulating data at a breakneck clip. And since
the dawn of the computer age, IT organizations have sought ways to take
advantage of these huge data stores to improve sales, manufacturing, marketing
and virtually every other piece of the organization.
Through the years, IT managers have utilized a variety of database technologies
to improve the process of storing and accessing specific data. But as
multiple databases were installed, accessing all of the data needed for
specific projects became impossible. Each database was an island unto
itself, unable to use data stored in another system.
Potential solutions have included executive information systems (EIS),
decision support systems (DSS) and, finally, data warehousing and technologies
such as online analytical processing (OLAP), balanced scorecard, Web personalization,
customer relationship management (CRM) and meta data standardization.
Without the ability to take advantage of the data compiled from customers,
suppliers, distributors and the like, an organization can quickly lose
out to competitors that have moved quickly to build or install systems.As
we see in this month's Special Report on decision processing, while building
such systems isn't easy, it can mean the difference between success and
Our Special Report features data warehousing gurus Colin White and Julie
Hahnke who, along with Managing Editor Jack Vaughan, look at some of the
emerging solutions that seek to solve some of the problems - such as corrupt
or dirty data - that have prevented data warehousing from meeting its
White, founder of DataBase Associates International
Inc., looks at how IT development organizations can start building
decision processing systems that can quickly analyze business
information captured from corporate operational systems. White concedes
that the process is not simple, as it requires some internal development
and tools acquired from multiple suppliers. IT buyers are unlikely
to find an integrated system that can support all of their requirements.
In addition, White touches on the federated data warehouse model, which
supports the iterative development of a data warehousing system that incorporates
Hahnke, president of IDTech, examines the hottest
piece of decision processing today, CRM, which promises to help
corporations better understand and service customers. The CRM phenomenon
has spawned a slew of products that promise to resolve any conflict
between company and customer. Hahnke maintains that these tools
can help, but IT units must also recognize that fixing the problem
requires more than software.
Best Regards, Michael W. Bucken
Mike Bucken is former Editor-in-Chief of Application Development Trends magazine.