The 5-Whys principle made famous by Sakichi Toyoda and its application at Toyota has a very handy parallel in data warehousing analysis: "and then what?" There hasn't been any formal statistical or mathematical analysis to determine how many times "and then what" typically needs to be asked before truly understanding a complete business process, but 5 is probably a good starting point here, too. One of the key metaphors in data warehousing analysis is the Information Supply Chain. In order to get a complete, end-to-end view of that supply chain, you have to keep asking the knowledge workers in that supply chain "and then what?"
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