A study by Palo Alto Management Group says the market for data warehousing and decision support will grow more than 50% a year to reach $113 billion in 2002.

The figure stood at $15 billion last year. Michael P. Burwen, the study's director, said, "A principal driving force is that data warehouses will evolve to become the hub technology for vast corporate information distribution systems."

"Instead of having a relatively few so-called knowledge workers accessing these warehouses, companies will be encouraging their employees, customers, and suppliers to use the warehouse as a basic information resource, as will government agencies wishing to inform millions of constituents," he said.

The average size of a data warehouse, 272 gigabytes today, is expected to increase by a factor of 24 in three years, to 6.5 terabytes.

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