To the casual observer, data warehousing may appear to be strictly a technology initiative. In reality, it's an undertaking that demands a close synergy between a company's business and IT leaders.The inability to realize this has doomed many warehousing ventures to obsolescence in the insurance industry. "Business leaders must define the data needs of the organization," says Jack Gohsler, senior vice president for Hartford, Conn.-based Conning & Co. "The fact that IT and business leaders have very different skill sets and points of view has made such partnerships very challenging for many companies."

Hartford, Conn.-based Travelers Insurance Co. is one of the few carriers that has recognized the magnitude of the close partnership that must exist between IT and business to get a warehousing initiative off the ground.

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