Chapter 2. What Should You Expect from Your Data Warehouse?

In This Chapter

  • Making business decisions based on facts, not intuition

  • Realizing the value of "data at your fingertips"

  • Looking at cross-organization communications and your data warehouse

  • Changing your business because of insights from data warehouse information

All too often, the members of a data warehouse development team proudly unveil their creation, get a few "oohs" and "aahs" from their user community, and then find out that "if you build it, they won't necessarily come." The data warehouse just sits there, quietly being restocked every week or every month, and supporting only a few random user information requests until plans eventually are drafted for its replacement.

You can avoid many, or perhaps most, of these unfortunate situations if everyone, from the executive sponsors to the technicians and developers, focuses their efforts on a single question: "What do you do with a data warehouse?"

The contents of the warehouse (the data) aren't important; rather, how the data is used in everyday business life is what makes the warehouse really useful.

Using the Data Warehouse to Make Better Business Decisions

Suppose that John is a district manager at MegaRetroMania, Ltd., a national chain of video-rental stores that specializes in movies from the 1950s and earlier. Mary is John's counterpart in another district. Both excitedly awaited the rollout of MegaRetroMania's brand-new data warehouse, an event that finally occurred ...

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