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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!

March 2006 Archives

I always enjoy the well-researched OLAP Report that Nigel Pendse does annually. The report for 2005 is out (link.) The market continues to grow (close to $6M the way Nigel measures it, which he explains on the site.) The trajectories of the top 5 and top 10 vendors has been flat the last 2 years, but remains around 95% (top 10) and 75% (top 5). This is not a space letting in many new vendors to the big time.

Over the last several years, there has been nice upward slopes for Microsoft and downward slopes for Hyperion (which remains #2) and Oracle. I expect the latest release for Oracle to turn that slope somewhat in 2006.

Posted March 7, 2006 9:53 AM
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Calling master data management just another data mart, as some has done, is flawed on many levels. Probably most importantly, it implies that mart is fed from the data warehouse. Since the data warehouse should contain master data, not mere duplicates of dirty operational data and data marts should be cut for discrete query and application purposes, what purpose would a master data data mart serve? Master data is more about distribution to those operational systems that need it, as opposed to master data query.

Fix master data in the operational environment and feed it to the data warehouse. That way, all systems have access to master data. The data warehouse is too far down in the data lifecycle, and historically has been a poor instrument as a data distribution source, to be effective. If data warehousing met MDM needs, there wouldn't be a clamor for a different way with more applicability to modern business.

Master data management in the operational environment can comprise a virtual management structure or a physical structure. And keep in mind MDM is more than data storage and distribution. It's a holistic approach that includes data quality, data stewardship, third party data, enterprise quality modeling, ROI AND data management and distribution. This is why you have so many vendors at the MDM party. Most contribute a piece, like maybe the appetizer or dessert, but few contribute full MDM. It's really a process more than a technology. Contact me to learn about the experience- and success-based approach to MDM I've developed with my clients for my firm.

Look for my feature article in DM Review next month (April) on master data management and my course at TDWI May 18 in Chicago on the subject for more. Link.

Posted March 4, 2006 12:41 PM
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