There has been considerable discussion in the industry about the various approaches to the development of data warehouses.

After some successful projects, and some more spectacular failures, the discussion has tended to focus on the benefits of data marts, or application-centric information systems, sometimes referred to as department-level data warehouses. The rationale around these ideas is that enterprise data warehouses are high-risk ventures that, often, do not justify the expense and extended delivery times. A department-level data mart, on the other hand, can be implemented quickly, easily, and with relatively low risk.

The big drawback of department-level information systems is that they almost always end ...

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