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Blog: Jill Dyché Subscribe to this blog's RSS feed!

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!

July 2008 Archives

In which Jill speculates that Microsoft's next move is world domination. Oh, wait... Uh, nevermind.

In the past several months our friends at Microsoft have been on a veritable buying binge, but two acquisition deals have those of us in the BI community particularly engaged. Noteably, both acquisitions were made by Microsoft's SQL Server organization, not by the BI division, implying newfound focus on the "engine" behind the company's data warehousing and analytics solutions.

The acqusition of Zoomix, announced last week, had been widely-rumored. Zoomix had historically assumed various mantles including an MDM accelerator and a data quality tool, but is acknowledged in data quality circles as a self-learning, data-oriented rules engine. This not only fills what was heretofore a gaping hole in Microsoft's data quality story--the company had partnerships with almost all the well-known vendors including Group1 Software and Harte-Hanks' Trillium, which the company uses extensively in-house--but gives Microsoft an arguable leg-up when it comes to the smart transformation of data via its SSIS ETL tool.

Yesterday's acquistion of data warehouse appliance vendor DATAllegro was more of a surprise. The California company is best known in data warehouse circles as a "Teradata killer," because of its shared-nothing relational architecture and low price-point. The incongruity of Microsoft acquiring an open-source database vendor makes more sense when examined through the lens of extensibility. "The open-source part is no big deal for us," explains Donald Farmer, a Principal Program Manager at Microsoft. "We can strip that out fairly easily and replace it with our stuff. What this gives Microsoft is the scale-out piece of a relational engine."

Not to mention another focused development organization. Perhaps the biggest surprise of both acquisitions is the fact that Microsoft is keeping the two development teams largely in-place and intact. Zoomix engineers will continue to be based in Isreal as part of Microsoft's international SQL Server group, and DATAllegro's Aliso Viejo headquarters will become a Center of Excellence in the SQL Server development organization. What's next? The Pacific Rim? Oh, nevermind.

Technorati tags: Microsoft, Microsoft Buys Zoomix, Microsoft Buys Datallegro, Donald Farmer

Posted July 25, 2008 4:25 PM
Permalink | 3 Comments |

In which Jill tries to make her blog resemble The New Yorker. (Nice try.)

The back page of The New Yorker magazine features a really funny cartoon caption contest. An established cartoonist submits a drawing with no caption, leaving the magazine's loyal readers to offer their own submissions. For instance, a recent issue featured a picture of a killer whale sitting in a courtroom with his attorney. The winning caption had the attorney shouting:

"That's alleged killer whale, your honor!"


Last year I was featured on the cover of a Dutch magazine following a European speaking tour. Until then the closest I got to Holland was the rooftop bar at New York's Hotel Gansevoort. (Two words: Pomegranate Cosmo.) Anyway, the cover of DB/M Magazine features a cartoon of a business man gazing admiringly at a computer.

Though I suspect I look Dutch judging from the hearty welcome in the native tongue at customs, I unfortunately don't speak or read Dutch. So I was can't be quite sure what the caption accompanying my name actually means:

"Met MDM dwingen we data-integriteit af Jill Dyché."

Funny! (Or is it?)


So here are three captions that might work:

1. "It's actually a relatively cheap data warehouse appliance. Jill Dyché advised them to encrust it with diamonds to knock up the price point."
2. "My shiny new watch has more bells and whistles that Jill Dyché's stupid server does!"
3. Thank God the paramedics are here! Jill Dyché is stuck in a file cabinet and can't get out!

Any other takers?

Posted July 12, 2008 7:19 PM
Permalink | 4 Comments |

In which Jill recommends some tasty MDM research, with a side of reality.

I love this quote:

"Even organizations with no immediate plans to deploy MDM-specific solutions have needs and plans that MDM policies, processes, strategies, and tools can help to enable or support."

It's from a 2008 Aberdeen Group research report written by Senior Analyst Michael Dortch. Dortch focuses on enabling and emerging technologies for information management, and is as adept covering high-availability storage as he is trends in RFID. He's one of those guys who can squeeze out a trenchant analysis of the MDM market in short order. And he has.

The paper, underwritten by Initiate Systems and Baseline Consulting, takes an honest look at the traction MDM has gained, what the roadblocks have been, and how to accelerate success. As with the quote above, it corroborates what we've seen in the market, namely that more companies are "talking" MDM than doing it. Nevertheless, it's a top-of-mind issue with business execs and IT management alike, and when it works--Dortch cites examples from Choice Hotels and Expert Norge AS--MDM can affect business change.

Dortch's research finds that although most survey respondents don't cop to full MDM deployments, the vast majority have some sort of data quality or integration effort on their radar. And, in a savvy nod of the head to data governance, the report justly admonishes readers to "Ensure that MDM initiatives and deployments are supported by effective, enforced, and well-documented policies and processes..."

To download the Aberdeen report, click here.

Technorati tags: Aberdeen Group, Initiate Systems, Baseline Consulting, MDM Best Practices, Master Data Management, data governance

Posted July 3, 2008 5:29 PM
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