Building the Data Warehouse

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This chapter first appeared just as EIS was on its way out. As originally written, this chapter was an attempt to appeal to the EIS community, based on the rationality of the necessity of an infrastructure. But the wisdom of the EIS community and its venture capital backers was such that there was to be no

relationship between data warehousing and EIS. When it came to the infrastructure needed to support the grandiose plans of the EIS community, the EIS community and the venture capital community just didn’t get it.

EIS as it was known in its earliest manifestation has all but disappeared. But the promises made by EIS are still valuable and real. Consequently EIS has reappeared in many forms today—such as OLAP processing and DSS applications such as customer relationship management (CRM)—and those more modern forms of EIS are very much related to data warehousing, unlike the earliest forms of EIS.

EIS—The Promise

EIS is one of the most potent forms of computing. Through EIS, the executive analyst can pinpoint problems and detect trends that are of vital importance to management. In a sense, EIS represents one of the most sophisticated applications of computer technology.

EIS processing is designed to help the executive make decisions. In many regards, EIS becomes the executive’s window into the corporation. EIS processing looks across broad vistas and picks out the aspects that are relevant to the running of the business. Some of the typical uses of EIS are these:

■■ Trend analysis and detection

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