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Jill Dyché

There you are! What took you so long? This is my blog and it's about YOU.

Yes, you. Or at least it's about your company. Or people you work with in your company. Or people at other companies that are a lot like you. Or people at other companies that you'd rather not resemble at all. Or it's about your competitors and what they're doing, and whether you're doing it better. You get the idea. There's a swarm of swamis, shrinks, and gurus out there already, but I'm just a consultant who works with lots of clients, and the dirty little secret - shhh! - is my clients share a lot of the same challenges around data management, data governance, and data integration. Many of their stories are universal, and that's where you come in.

I'm hoping you'll pour a cup of tea (if this were another Web site, it would be a tumbler of single-malt, but never mind), open the blog, read a little bit and go, "Jeez, that sounds just like me." Or not. Either way, welcome on in. It really is all about you.

About the author >

Jill is a partner co-founder of Baseline Consulting, a technology and management consulting firm specializing in data integration and business analytics. Jill is the author of three acclaimed business books, the latest of which is Customer Data Integration: Reaching a Single Version of the Truth, co-authored with Evan Levy. Her blog, Inside the Biz, focuses on the business value of IT.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in Jill's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

November 2006 Archives

In which Jill reviews why DW 2.0 rocked the house in Anaheim.

Last week's DW 2.0™ conference in Anaheim had something for everyone. That is, everyone looking for fresh new ideas for data integration and BI projects. The conference, hosted by Wilshire Conferences and Inmon Data Systems, was a master class on the evolution of data warehousing, its incorporation of different data types and structures, and implementation best practices. Herewith, some of the highlights:

  • My Baseline colleague Bryan Rockoff kicked off the conference workshops with a fresh look at leveraging new DW 2.0 to drive scorecarding metrics for incumbent data warehouses. He applied some of our established data warehouse scorecard processes to the new DW 2.0 framework. Enthusiastic note-taking and head-nodding among attendees.
  • Maureen Clarry's presentation, "Great Minds Think...Differently" was a hit. I appreciated Maureen's coverage of team building and skills delineation, but as an "Introverted/Horizontal" I loved her deconstruction of Introvert versus Extrovert stereotypes, and she delivered her usual "aha!" moments.
  • First time I'd seen Biaggio McPhee in action, but he sure knows his stuff. His presentation about ROI in Data Warehousing put a fresh spin on a well-worn topic, and it was clear he'd lived through the experience.
  • Netezza's V.P. of Marketing, Ellen Rubin, delivered a deep and broad view of data warehouse appliances, not only in terms of the various business problems they address, but of Netezza's pioneering approach. I've worked with Ellen before, but it was fun to see her in the spotlight and she was her usual informed, articulate self.
  • Joyce Norris-Montanari gave the ODS perspective on Master Data Management. Joyce and I variously agree and disagree on MDM principals--check out our dialog about CDI versus ODS--but she generously referenced my CDI book and piggybacked on many of the concepts I'd discussed in my morning workshop. Her packed session confirmed what I already knew: Joyce understands the evolution of the ODS like no one else.

And, of course, there was Bill Inmon's full-day tutorial, "Introduction to the World of DW 2.0." Bill argued that the architectural changes in data warehousing mandate a new framework for discussion. He introduced the various sectors of DW 2.0--Interactive, Integrated, Near-Line, and Archival--and discussed how metadata, unstructured data, and master data fit within the DW 2.0 framework.

What I like about DW 2.0 is that Bill has taken the discussion from one of platform to one of processing. I've been maintaining that IT management needs to cease the entrenched habits of examining vendor selection, stop trying to retrofit incumbent technologies to solve new problems, and approach vendor selection armed with requirements. This frees IT resources to focus more on the business processes that technologies support, and the business needs they solve. Every IT meeting should begin with the question, "What do we need to deliver?" Bill's mission was to "elevate data warehousing to a new state of the art," and he did his usual stellar job. It was three days worth of new concepts, fresh ideas, and great speakers, with Bill Inmon at the helm.

And speaking of Bill at the helm, watch for more on DW 2.0 in Bill's BI Network Newsletter.

DW 2.0 is a trademark of William H. Inmon.

Technorati Tags: DW 2.0, Bill Inmon, CDI, MDM

Posted November 20, 2006 3:58 PM
Permalink | 1 Comment |

In which Jill relates her Mother Moment to a more quotidian--but data-critical--issue.

In my last blog entry I described my Mother Moment, when--in the midst of advising a client to consider a data quality tool--I reminded myself of my mother. Several glasses of Pinot Noir later, I realized that this could be a lot worse, my mother being one of those existential "everyone's on their own journey" sort of people.

But such a permissive attitude about data quality might not cut the mustard. Like in the case of the client I talked about last time. Five people managing the company's item master and doing the dirty work of manual data reconciliation. So when a spare part for an assembly line comes in and no one recognizes it, these five people have to name it, define it, standardize it, input it, and perform brute-force error correction--whether or not anyone ever needs that part again.

There is, of course, software that can do this automatically. So people don't have to name new products: It's automated. You don't have to dedicate a team to look for data anomalies: it's automated. You don't have to hire a consultant (herewith, a hearty wink of the eye to my Baseline colleagues) to perform a protracted metadata inventory of your systems of record: it's automated. You don't have to match conflicting records: it's automated. You get the drift.

There's usually a moment at every company in which some visionary manager or enterprising practitioner realizes that the manual effort, consensus-building, and political wrangling might be reduced with the acquisition of a data quality tool, and he or she could be freed up to do other things, like actually analyze the data to make important business decisions.

Sometimes that moment is a business user standing in your doorway swearing he will never touch the application again as long as the data is bad. Sometimes it's an executive who "has heard some buzz" that the data can't be trusted, so neither can you. Sometimes it's just too much unnecessary, repeated, tiresome, unstimulating, automate-able work. Maybe this describes you and your company? If so, the moment may have indeed arrived.

Technorati tags: data quality, data profiling, data as asset

Posted November 18, 2006 7:20 PM
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