Chapter 4. Data Marts: Your Retail Data Outlet

In This Chapter

  • Looking at different architectures for data marts

  • Determining what should be in your data mart

  • Developing a data mart

Several years ago, a regional (I think) hardware chain in southern California ran a radio ad based on this premise: "Shop at our stores because we have fewer products than the big warehouse-like competition. You can much more easily get in and out here quickly with what you need." Interestingly, another hardware chain (on the east coast) had run ads a few years earlier with almost the identical theme. This chain used to make fun of the warehouse-size competition by featuring radio ads that had helicopter search parties looking for shoppers lost in a distant department and references to shuttle buses having to take shoppers between departments in the warehouse-size stores. The premise was the same: "We have less merchandise than the other guy, so shop with us because it's easier."

And that's the idea of the data mart.

Don't get caught up in the hype. The idea of a data mart is hardly revolutionary, despite what you might read on blogs and in the computer trade press, and what you might hear at conferences or seminars. A data mart is simply a scaled-down data warehouse — that's all.

Vendors do their best to define data marts in the context of their products; consultants and analysts usually define data marts in a way that's advantageous to their particular offerings and specialties. That's the way this business ...

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