The market forces unleashed over the past two decades have swept away an old order and its rules, replacing it with a far more competitive and dynamic environment. Banks have been forced to redefine the ways they operate and, even more importantly, the ways they view themselves.

The effects of this process are reflected in the business analysis systems that banks use to guide their decisions. The combination of intensified competition, improved technology, and increasing regulation has forced banks to install systems of increasing breadth and sophistication. In many banks the proliferation of these systems spawned the condition I have labeled data chaos, a state of contentious uncertainty created when independent business analysis systems, drawing data from separate sources, produce discrepant results.

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