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William McKnight

Hello and welcome to my blog!

I will periodically be sharing my thoughts and observations on information management here in the blog. I am passionate about the effective creation, management and distribution of information for the benefit of company goals, and I'm thrilled to be a part of my clients' growth plans and connect what the industry provides to those goals. I have played many roles, but the perspective I come from is benefit to the end client. I hope the entries can be of some modest benefit to that goal. Please share your thoughts and input to the topics.

About the author >

William is the president of McKnight Consulting Group, a firm focused on delivering business value and solving business challenges utilizing proven, streamlined approaches in data warehousing, master data management and business intelligence, all with a focus on data quality and scalable architectures. William functions as strategist, information architect and program manager for complex, high-volume, full life-cycle implementations worldwide. William is a Southwest Entrepreneur of the Year finalist, a frequent best-practices judge, has authored hundreds of articles and white papers, and given hundreds of international keynotes and public seminars. His team's implementations from both IT and consultant positions have won Best Practices awards. He is a former IT Vice President of a Fortune company, a former software engineer, and holds an MBA. William is author of the book 90 Days to Success in Consulting. Contact William at wmcknight@mcknightcg.com.

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

October 2005 Archives

At CSI, we have a Center of Excellence where we put new releases of BI products through the paces in order to stay on top of the market for our clients.

Microsoft SQL Server 2005 is about to live up to its title and get released here in 2005. There are quite a few important advances in this release. For those primarily involved with other database management systems, these enhancements may seem like "it's about time." However, some of these, especially the scalability-related items like 64-bit and addressable memory support and reliability items like security controls and improved failover clustering, that have been used to rule out SQL Server for upper-mid and large (i.e., terabyte) mission critical data warehouses are no longer limitations in SQL Server.

Here's some initial points of interest on SQL 2005.....

· 64-bit platform availability (Intel Itanium2 and AMD x64) maximum addressable memory is 32TB although physical RAM has only been tested to 512 GB – still a significant increase!
· XML data types
· Mirroring
· Triggers
· .NET integration allowing object creation with C#, VB.NET and C++
· Partitioning (with automatic recommendations)
· Failover clustering on up to 8 nodes
· Rebuilding the clustering (table ordering) index no longer causes rebuild of other indexes; incidentally indexes are the topic of my most recent column in DM Review Magazine: “Achieving BI Query Performance”· Bulk loading
· Text Searching with FULLTEXT index
· More granular security controls
· SQL Server Management Studio (combination of former SQL Server Enterprise Manager and Query Analyzer components) allows multiple dialog windows (this is seemingly unimportant on the surface, but adds to usability)

I'll continue this topic in later blogs with more feedback. If you have any feedback or anticipatory comments about SQL Server 2005, post them here.

Posted October 10, 2005 6:59 PM
Permalink | 2 Comments |

My company, Conversion Services International, marked a major milestone last week. Positioned on the platform overlooking the trading floor and surrounding by blue and orange balloons, Scott Newman and Glenn Peipert, company founders, reached for their golden gavels and together gave the American Stock Exchange opening bell several hearty strikes to officially ring in the day’s trading at 9:30 A.M EDIT on Monday. The opening bell ceremony served to commemorate CSI’s recent listing on the Exchange which began Sept. 21 (trading symbol: CVN).

We were listed over-the-counter until Sept. 21 and remain the only public company fully focused on data warehousing and business intelligence services.

You can view the event as well as an interview with Scott Newman live from the American Stock exchange by going to the AMEX web site:


and scroll down the page until you see “Bell Ringing Close up” and then click on Conversion Services International Inc. This will provide you the option of viewing the video with Windows Media or Real Player.

Posted October 9, 2005 6:20 PM
Permalink | No Comments |

Well, the DCI Conference is over and the Around the Horn went very well. I think I started something. The format allowed me to state a few assertions about where our industry is going. Without much comment now, I present them here. If you have a comment on any, feel free to add your comment. Here they are:

There is no longer a line in the sand between operational and analytical BI. They have blurred together.

The “build it and they will come” attitude is still pervasive in DW.

The model of the BI software industry is about delivering more and more complexity making it harder to live instead of simplifying business. The BI software industry is partly to blame for the increasing complexity of business.

DW will eventually go the way of EAI. The extra data store in the picture is redundant and the market eventually drives out inefficiencies.

Companies are not taking data quality seriously enough. It’s an afterthought and is still sabotaging BI and compliance efforts.

Master Data Management is most effective in the operational world, at pre-DW levels.

Data Mart/DW Consolidation is hot now as companies realize they need an efficient EDW environment and the benefits of the enterprise consolidated view.

BI is focusing too much on the big guys. The needs of the SMB market are not being met by the BI industry.

Posted October 4, 2005 8:27 AM
Permalink | 3 Comments |

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