Data warehousing is no longer a purely novel idea for study and experimentation. It is becoming mainstream. True, the data warehouse is not in every dentist's office yet, but neither it is confined only to high-end businesses. More than half of all u.s. companies has made a commitment to data warehousing. About 90% of multinational companies have data warehouses or are planning to implement data warehouses in the next 12 months.

In every industry across the board, from retail chain stores to financial institutions, from manufacturing enterprises to government departments, from airline companies to utility businesses, data warehousing is revolutionizing the way people perform business analysis and make strategic decisions. Every company that has a data warehouse is realizing enormous benefits that get translated into positive results at the bottom line. Many of these companies, now incorporating Web-based technologies, are enhancing the potential for greater and easier delivery of vital information.

Over the past five years, hundreds of vendors have flooded the market with numerous products. Vendor solutions and products run the gamut of data warehousing: data modeling, data acquisition, data quality, data analysis, metadata, and so on. The buyer's guide published by the Data Warehousing Institute features no fewer than 105 leading products. The market is already huge and continues to grow.

3.2.1. Data Warehousing is Becoming Mainstream ...

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