The task of turning data into an operational asset rather than a liability can be a complicated process. Sometimes it's the simple and common themes that resonate best in times of uncertainty.The concept "less is more" is regarded as a driving principle to developing a data warehouse for the purpose of enhancing a business intelligence strategy. "Building a huge data warehouse does not work if the idea is to obtain an enterprise-wide, 360-degree view of customers," says Bill Sinn, vice president, insurance healthcare marketing for Dayton, Ohio-based Teradata Corp., a provider of enterprise data warehouse solutions. "The question of 'how do you eat an elephant' certainly applies in this instance. The way you eat an elephant is, of course, one bite at a time."

Insurers that designed data warehouses several years ago may have been inclined to bite off much more than they could chew, indiscriminately loading data sources into the central repository despite the fact some of the data was marginal.

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