Yes, like anyone who got a liberal arts degree (me: B.A., Economics), I had to take Political Science 101. And like anyone who sat and thought about what exactly politics is, I soon realized that it's anything but a science. Some call it the "art of the possible," and that strikes me as exactly right.
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Few enterprise data warehousing (EDW) professionals regard the key rival approach--data federation--to be a best practice. Usually, the reasons for this disdain are valid, such as the fact that federated environments are not optimized for heavy-hitting data matching, merging, transformation and cleansing, all of which are essential functions to deliver a "single version of the truth" for business intelligence (BI).
Dreams do come true sometimes. Or, at the very least, they may start to feel less like dreams than intuitions that ripened a bit earlier in the dreamer's mind than in the world in which he or she may live.
The dream of a global analytics cloud - aka "data warehousing (DW) in the cloud," "DW 2.0," "DW as a Service" - is continuing to materialize, as evidenced by a steady stream of important industry developments. Perhaps "cloud" is the wrong metaphor, considering that this vision is more of an expanding hypersphere of deep data that, through its massive gravitation, pulls an ever-growing nebula of complex computational challenges into its orbit.