Building the Data Warehouse

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The Northeast’s numbers are made up of totals from New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Of these states, the manager then decides to look more closely at the numbers for New York state. The different cities in New York state that have outlets are then queried.

In each case, the manager has selected a path of going from summary to detail, then to a successively lower level. In such a fashion, he or she can determine where the troublesome results are. Once having identified the anomalies, the manager then knows where to look more closely.

Yet another important aspect of EIS is the ability to track key performance indicators. Although each corporation has its own set, typical key performance indicators might be the following:

■■ Cash on hand ■■ Customer pipeline ■■ Length of sales cycle ■■ Collection time

■    New product channel

■    Competitive products

Each corporation has several key performance indicators that—in a single measurement—tell an important story about some aspect of the life of the corporation. On their own, the key performance indicators say a lot about what is going on in the corporation. Taken over time, the key performance indicators say even more because they indicate trends.

It is one thing to say that cash on hand is $X. It is even more powerful to say that two months ago cash on hand was $Z, one month ago cash on hand was $Y, and this month cash on hand is $X. Looking at key performance indicators over time is one of the most important things an executive can do, and EIS is ideal for this purpose.

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