Data warehousing is coming back into fashion as European executives start to realise the benefits of being able to organise their company data to find out useful facts.
According to a survey by Computer Sciences (CSC), executives from 800 international firms saw the ability to organise company data as the single greatest challenge confronting them.
As a result, they believed that data warehousing and data mining software was critical to make their firms successful, despite the raft of projects abandoned in the mid 1990s because of their complexity.
Van Honeycutt, CSC's president and chief executive, said: "While the volume and availability of raw data continues to increase, it obscures the vast amounts of vital corporate knowledge."
However, while directors in Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand said their biggest headache was knowing how to organise company data to make it into information they could use, their US counterparts said they were most concerned with connecting partners, suppliers and customers electronically.
But the need to align information systems with corporate goals, which had been the top priority of respondents over the past five years, ranked only second this time.
Honeycutt explained: "Organisations are still struggling to synchronise their IT organisations and corporate strategies. The fact that executives still rate the issue so highly shows they realise that IT has to be used effectively to drive success."
The fourth most critical issue facing almost 60 per cent of executives, however, was the need to develop an electronic business strategy. This was in sharp contrast to last year when ebusiness ranked at only number 20 on the list of things to do.
However, just 44 per cent of respondents said they currently had an ebusiness strategy in place, while only 42 per cent considered the strategies they had implemented to be effective.
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