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Some people claim that strategy is primarily about building advantage[1]. My view is that this is not strictly accurate. Strategy is about overcoming significant challenges and achieving significant objectives, it is not intrinsically about building advantage, as if business operated in a perfectly symmetrical universe where commercial life played itself out as some perfect tinsel town idea of what business should be and what success should look like.

Unfortunately far too many management consultants’ ideas of the world are delusional, and even worse, some business organisations take up these ideas as if they had some actual link with marketplace realities.

Contrary to some published opinion, using a data warehousing strategically means that the data warehouse contributes to the coherent actions that form strategy.

Strategic data warehousing is not essentially about manoeuvring, planning or manipulation as end goals, it’s about action, in which the strategic, tactical and operational have their own spaces, and therefore they are terms that hold significance and meaning, and they should not be relegated to the category of meaningless management consulting talismans, trinkets and lucky charms.

Some people in the past have defined Data Warehousing in strategic terms as a “rising tide strategy”. Seen from a certain perspective, the tem “rising tide strategy” could perhaps be considered meaningless to all but a very small number of people in an even smaller technical niche. It is perhaps worse than meaningless in the context of strategy and enterprise data warehousing, because it is also a term that people may find misleading.

Some people also claim that strategy is a weapon, but I would also disagree. Strategy is not a weapon in any conventional sense. A weapon is an artefact, but strategy is how to overcome significant challenges and achieve significant objectives. In this respect, Data Warehousing is a strategic tool, a strategic weapon, and an essential enabler of strategy, but it is not an organisational strategy in and of itself[2].

[1] Accelerating Customer Relationships: Using CRM and Relationship Technologies [Taschenbuch]

[2] Its place is within an organisation’s Information Management strategy.

Many thanks for reading.

File under: Good Strat, Good Strategy, Martyn Richard Jones, Martyn Jones, Cambriano Energy, Iniciativa Consulting, Iniciativa para Data Warehouse, Tiki Taka Pro