If you have tried to use the same computer workstation to run multimedia training programs sold by different vendors or created with different authoring tools, you may have found it difficult or impossible. Ditto if you’ve tried to use your company’s online training-administration system to track students’ progress through computer-based training (CBT) courses created with authoring tools that turned out to be incompatible with the system. For instance, if you built the course with Macromedia’s Authorware and your administration system is Asymetrix’s Librarian, you’re out of luck.
Finally, if you’ve followed the talk in the online-learning industry about “reusable content objects,” also known as “granular” content or “chunks,” you’re aware that an imposing obstacle stands in the way of the visions inspired by the concept of granularity. (If you haven’t followed that talk, the general idea is that brief chunks of online information – a few paragraphs of text, an audio or video clip, a pie graph – could easily be reused again and again in any number of different training or performance-support applications.)
In all three cases, the missing element is standards: a universal language, as it were, for a set of instructions that would run “underneath” or parallel to the program. In a Web page or an online CBT course, such standards would allow you to find, identify, retrieve,
Procrastination is a dangerous thing when it comes to any situation; this is especially true in the case of office operations. For instance, if you really need to fix your broken RAID array and you are sitting on it and not calling a RAID 5 recovery expert for immediate assistance, you are bound to suffer substantial losses. You may have thought that it is just data and that it is not a big deal. You may also be under the illusion that your assistant has taken the required backups. What if you turned out to be wrong? What if your assistant is also a procrastinator and the data is truly lost? When your boss tells you to fix that broken RAID array as soon as it happens, you had better listen and take it to heart. It could make the difference between having a job and losing it.
If you let things slide and if you do not fix your RAID array, it is entirely possible that your boss will consider you not only inept but also lazy. That is a sure sign that you are going to be given the pink slip. You would be wiser to make sure that you have a backup of all the contact information of companies that send out professionals to solve the problem and …
When a competing product is scanned at the point of sale, a store-specific, short-dated coupon is automatically printed for a supporting vendor’s product. Manufacturers like the program because it ensures that their marketing dollars are aimed directly at consumers who buy the type of product they’re selling. And retailers see the program as both a value-add to their customers and as one more way to entice customers to return to their store soon.
With so many transactions passing through its systems, Catalina Marketing was in what was at once an enviable and a frustrating position. Even the largest retail companies only see transactional data from their own stores. From its catbird seat, Catalina could peer down at transactions across the broad and varied store base it serves.
So much data, so little warehouse!
The frustration came from not being able to analyze that rich flood of data effectively. Catalina knew that if it could flow that information into a large, central database, it could help the retailers and manufacturers it serves to target their promotions with unparalleled efficiency.
“We needed a data warehouse for a number of reasons,” Bross said. “We needed a single repository of business information to answer our own decision-support needs and to provide decision-critical information to our clients.
And we needed a data warehouse to support our in-house