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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!

From interviews with hundreds of BI professionals over the past year as part of my environment assessments, there are a few conclusions I can draw. One of them is that, as compared to previous years, more people don't want to be a manager and this includes managers. I suggest a variety of factors leading to this:

1. Managers have too many meetings


2. The people who work for you have higher expectations of what you need to do for them

You get to play counselor, psychologist, motivational speaker and, most definitely, personal advisor. These aspects of the job can be quite a change from the technical work.

3. Recent technology innovations provide an attractive career path on the technical side

Real-time data warehousing, EII/EAI, ERP integration, master data management, managing multi-terabytes of data, diverse and growing user communities, etc. all keep the BI technical professional out of persistent doldrums.

4. Technology changes make it seem difficult that you can get back on the technology track if you wanted to someday.

This has resulted in very careful consideration of the management track on the part of many BI professionals.

5. Long hours as in being told 55 hours per week are not enough


Management has always had its difficult challenges, but in the past those were acceptable based on the financial and career upside. However, in today's economy, with restructuring activity rampant, many of the hierarchical structures of the past, and the perceived benefits of moving into management, have been eliminated. With merger and acquisiton activity, managers now also supervise across state and country boundaries and across functions, exacerbating the stress (and lowering job security).

If you have any opinions as to whether, in your experience, this is true, please post.

Also if you have an opinion as to whether this is hurting or helping business intelligence programs, post those here as well.

Posted November 11, 2005 9:57 AM
Permalink | 2 Comments |


I have faced this decision and, for the reasons you cite, stayed technical. I think many companies provide better career pathing on the technical side than before. What was seductive about management in the past isn't any more. I see those positions having a hard time getting filled.

Real-time data warehousing, EII/EAI, ERP integration, master data management, managing multi-terabytes of data, diverse and growing user communities, etc. all keep the BI technical professional out of persistent doldrums.

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