I would have to tell you that I do not think that data warehouses are a passing trend. Data warehouses or reporting systems have existed since the beginning of corporate information system. We may not have called it warehousing, but the need for reporting and analysis has always existed.
In the past the reporting focused on more operational types of activities and more recently it has moved into trend analysis and data mining. In order to meet these needs it is imperative that one creates a framework under which these goals can be realized. That is where the data warehouse comes in. The data warehouse provides the environment under which these advanced reporting and analytical needs can be achieved. Since the data held in the warehouse is built on the basic constructs of: time sensitive data, data stability, focused information and integrated. Since we need centralized repository to integrate the data and to lock it in time, we create a data warehouse. It becomes a strategic part of any business that adopts the technology and so it becomes necessary for the future of the organization.
So do I think data warehouses are a passing trend? Simply put: no.
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This was first published in November 2002