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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!

January 2009 Archives

In which Jill's Baseline colleague, Rob Paller, posits that business intelligence is all about community. And membership has its privileges.


Seth Godin recently released his latest book Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us in which he describes the power behind a tribes ability to enact change. The tribe is a loosely connected group of people behind a leader, a common interest, or an idea. The best example of a tribe can be found in the 2008 Presidential Election. During the course of his election Senator Obama was the leader of a large tribe founded on the premise of Change. 

Twitter, an online micro-blogging service, has been bringing people together 140 characters at a time since 2006. Twitter has experienced an exponential increase in popularity over the past year and is commonly used to live blog from various events such as MacWorld, Apple's WWDC, Teradata's Partners Conference, TWDI World Conferences, the PASS Community Summit and recently MicroStrategy World.  Live blogging and the use of hashtags (e.g. #tdwi) to group news events allows the tribe as a whole to follow along regardless of who they are actively following on Twitter.  Live blogging aside, Twitter provides a medium for people to connect, share ideas, or simply answer the question "What are you doing now?" with their tribe.

The Business Intelligence and SQL Server tribes have begun to thrive on Twitter--so  much so, that lists have begun to pop up to help others connect with members of the tribe they may not know existed on Twitter. Shawn Rogers created a list of BI professionals and vendors using Google Docs so that members of the tribe may contribute to the list. SQLServerPedia editor-in-chief, Brent Ozar, decided upon a wiki to maintain the SQL Server tribe's list.

Tribe members often share announcements about blog posts, articles, or whitepapers being published and are kind enough to "retweet" those they find interesting to help spread the word virally. Tribe members also share ideas and problems they are currently facing and often receive answers from tribe and sometimes an unexpected source. The best part about these unexpected sources is they often lead to a mutual following and the tribe benefits.

According to Godin a leader often surfaces within the tribe and helps set the direction for the tribe. So far no apparent leader has come forth within the BI tribe, but I don't think we are worse off in the absence of a leader. The tribe is only worse off for those who have yet to contribute.

Technorati tags: 

business intelligence, social media, Twitter, Seth Godin, tribes



Posted January 23, 2009 12:54 PM
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In which Jill, inspired by an accomplished acquaintance, advocates stretching.

The group I hike with includes a jewelry designer, a graphic artist, two attorneys, an orthopedist, and an Emmy-winning, Oscar-nominated movie producer. You wouldn't immediately call the producer out, dressed as she usually is in her Dodgers cap and khaki shorts. To her credit, she doesn't talk about Nicole or Halle-no one's gauche enough to ask anyway-but is more than happy to chat about her dogs. (Last weekend she made a case for the aptly-named BARF diet, explaining how it had reinvigorated her arthritic shepherd mix.) She just hikes and dog-talks, sometimes checking her Blackberry but usually leaving it at home.

Not long ago the two of us found ourselves hiking behind the rest of the group with our combined five dogs. We compared our brutal travel schedules-she'd been on location in Boston and I'd been working with a client in Peoria. (Only one of us was flying commercial but she was too polite to point that out.) Neither of us had seen our lives shaping up the way they had, but that if given the choice we agreed we wouldn't change much. (Knowing some of the men she's dated, I can't say I'd argue with her.)

"Sometimes my friends and I sit around and we're just blown away by how big our lives are," she confided. "We wonder how we did it. Sure we're lucky, but we learned how to play the system pretty well. The other night some of us were wondering: if we could do this..."-the word overflowed with subtext-"what else could we have done? With just a little more work, could we have become doctors and helped people? Could we have found a cure for cancer?"

At first this struck me as a bit lofty, even egotistical. This woman has people telling her how fabulous she is all day long. But she didn't mean it that way. She was simply wondering aloud whether by stretching-effort-wise, intellectually, even spiritually-if she could have made a larger contribution.

As we put a lid on 2008, how far could we stretch in the coming year? If we're in IT, could we be helping the business drive change, or create unforeseen efficiencies? If we're on the business side, could we enhance an existing initiative with more data or better technology solutions, and make our customers happier in the process? Could we introduce MDM, launch data governance, or resuscitate a moribund customer relationship initiative? Could social media grease the skids? What could we be doing that we aren't? Why don't we do it? After all, look at what we've already done!

Here's to doing big things in 2009. Happy New Year!

Technorati tag: Business-IT alignment, CRM, MDM, data governance, BARF diet


Posted January 2, 2009 12:05 PM
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