Data warehouse (DW) and business intelligence (BI) systems are among the most important IT-based systems in organizations. The decisions made using these systems can fundamentally affect an organization’s nature and performance. This paper reports the results of a case study that investigated the nature of DW/BI development. The theory lens used to frame and analyse the research was critical success factors (CSF). Ten CSF were identified from previous research on executive information systems, DW, and BI. This CSF set was used to analyse the failure of a corporate DW/BI project and the subsequent success of a smaller, functional BI system. To overcome previous criticism of the CSF approach, the CSF were analysed within the project’s organizational context and in terms of the dynamics of CSF over the life of the project. The case provides a number of lessons for organizations embarking on enterprise-scale DW/BI projects. The study shows that the augmented CSF approach is useful in understanding DW/BI development.