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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!

May 2008 Archives

In which Jill's faith in humanity is restored.

When Chris Daughtry was sent home in Season Five, I swore off American Idol. Up until then I'd considered the show a guilty pleasure, sort of like drinking two-buck Chuck with Sunday lunch. But I was shattered that a talent like Daughtry could end up in third place. So I stopped watching Idol, instead recommitting to my other guilty pleasure, Supernanny--the subject of another blog entirely.

But my faith in the American aesthetic is renewed--and not just because three people now owe me a "really nice dinner." (Hey Matt, two words: La Grenouille.)

While channel surfing I stumbled onto David Cook smack dab in the middle of his haunting rendition of Michael Jackson's Billie Jean. The arrangement comes by way of Chris Cornell (whom I've adored since his days as Soundgarden's front man), and Cook won me over. (Check out Cornell's version here.) Add to that the feat of making the Beatles' Eleanor Rigby and Dolly Parton's Little Sparrow his own, and a refreshingly un-Hollywood demeanor of gratitude and humility, and well, we have our guy.

Judging from Daughtry's subseqent success--take that, Taylor Hicks!--winning American Idol isn't a prerequisite for being a pop star. The eerily pixie-like David Archuleta will undoubtedly go platinum himself. But it's likely that David Cook benefitted from a rueful American public that gave contestants like Sanjaya way too much room and redeemed itself by buying Daughtry discs by the millions--and voting overwhelmingly for Cook.

As Paula Abdul said in the middle of the season, "You're it, baby! You're it!" Nice comeback, America! Now excuse me while I go crack open a bottle of you-know-what.

Technorati tags: David Cook, Chris Daughtry, American Idol

Posted May 21, 2008 8:13 PM
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In which Jill talks to vendors with a microphone in her face and still has fun.

At last week's TDWI conference in Chicago I got to do the usual round of vendor podcasts for BI Network. I'm not sure why they still ask me to do these, 'cuz I generally suck at them, but people keep showing up. This time they didn't videotape the proceedings. Fine by me since I was wearing brown, which makes me look "ruddy" according to my sister-in-law. Combine the ruddiness with the constant blushing I'm doing when I mispronounce people's names (sorry, Chris Modzelewski!!!) and I'll take the audio, thank you very much.

Anyway, I got to interview a stellar crew last week and thought I'd highlight them here:

I met Tommy Drummond, Informatica's VP of Data Quality Product Marketing for the first time. I can't believe I didn't know him already since we're kindred spirits in the data-as-corporate-asset clan. As Informatica announced new enhancements to its data quality offerings, Tommy talked about the theme of "timely and trusted data," as well as another announcement that I'm not supposed to mention yet but that I blogged about three weeks ago. Hel-LO! I will post no blog before its time.

The aforementioned Chris Modzelewski (just so you don't make the same mistake I did: Mod-zuh-LOO-skee) is the CEO and founder of ChartSearch. I usually don't have a dog in the BI tools fight but this numerical search and analysis platform is one to watch.

I played "stump the expert" with Sami Akbay, VP of Product Management and Marketing for GoldenGate and I lost. Sami and I had a range of on- and off-the-record conversations about what GoldenGate can do--at one point we drew our swords, er, pens, and started creating a data integration architecture for one of my clients. Turns out they should be using GoldenGate, and pronto. Here's to decreasing latency!

I also got to podcast with my buddy and esteemed data warehousing pioneer Kim Stanick, VP of Marketing for ParAccel. Kim and I go way back and it's always fun to hear what she's up to, which is a helluvalot judging from the rash of new announcements ParAccel unveiled last week.

Oh, and I got to change chairs and be a podcast guest, too, along with Baseline's new VP of Marketing, Tamara Dull. We chatted with Ron Powell about Tamara joining Baseline from BI tool powerhouse Noetix--Tamara knows a ton about BI--and announced the forthcoming Jill Dyche Data Governance Newsletter on BI Network. Watch both of those announcements bloom in the months ahead. And for future announcements, I'll be wearing a flattering shade of magenta. NOT!

Technorati tags: TDWI, Informatica, ChartSearch, GoldenGate, Paraccel, Baseline Consulting

Posted May 18, 2008 8:17 PM
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In which Jill wonders about commitment in relationships, admonishing both sides to use protection.

Our project work with clients frequently puts us in touch with software vendors trying to pitch their products. It's always interesting to watch them in action.

Smart vendors can distinguish pretty quickly which prospects are ready to buy versus those who are simply self-educating on the vendor's nickel. Over the years IT departments have become adept at anticipating vendor questions about where the funding is coming from and whether there is business support. But one vendor maneuver that inevitably works at moving the prospect in one direction or another is this:

"Let us show you a demo--with your data."

The best vendors are very good at this. We've been involved in several vendor selection processes where a Big Vendor comes in for a formal sales visit. The vendor arrives with thirteen or fourteen people, some of whom have never met each other. One or two people do all the talking. (We call vendor meetings where a lot of players show up the "pee on every bush" syndrome, since everyone wants to lift their leg on the deal.) The Big Vendor's folks show some Powerpoint slides, do a stock demo, solicit questions, then head back to headquarters to await the inevitable purchase order.

What the Big Vendor doesn't know is that the next day two guys from a competitor visit the client. One guy is an account rep and one is a product expert, and they demo the tool using the client's own data right then and there. Guess who wins?

Some clients never get this far. The vendor looks at them squarely and requests some sample data, with all assurances that the demo can turn into a bona-fide prototype, representing a foundational platform for future work. The client avoids eye contact over lunch,and demurs on e-mail correspondence, ultimately refusing the prototype offer. (This is the "No, you can't date my daughter" part.) The vendor realizes that the deal was never real in the first place and the client was just tire-kicking. It was all a big waste of time. (This is the "Now get off my lawn!" part.)

Technorati tag: IT vendor selection, choosing an IT vendor, BI vendors, MDM vendors

Posted May 1, 2008 9:49 AM
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