Imagine an ideal enterprise where the data is clean and consistent across. This means you can relate the data from one system to another without any transformations or lookups. This is probably the ultimate goal of master data management where the master data across the enterprise is managed for consistency, integrity and accuracy. Imagine ideal systems in that enterprise with data and functional services exposed so that those can be discovered, invoked and orchestrated. This is what service-oriented architecture is moving towards. Imagine these systems having unified authentication mechanisms and access controls. This is probably what enterprise directory services, single sign-ons are trying to achieve. Imagine these systems implemented over efficient hardware infrastructure with on-demand computing power, linear scalability and high availability. This is where virtualization and enterprise cloud computing are heading to. Imagine, what data warehousing would be in such an enterprise!
One of the key objectives of data warehousing is to transform and integrate data to facilitate efficient analysis and reporting. If the data does not require transformation and if the systems have seamless integration points with enough computing power to withstand bulk data requests this objective stands questioned. Imagine data warehousing without extract, transform and load. Imagine data warehousing without a data warehouse!
What one would require in such an enterprise is a description of various systems, the entities contained in those systems and the metrics that can be extracted out of those. A business intelligence tool can then build smaller efficient cubes to join the results from different systems. A description of data is sufficient, a definition of star schema would do, the metadata of data warehouse will then be the data warehouse – the meta “data warehouse”!