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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!

June 2006 Archives

As a consumer, we are bombarded by media outlets and messages. The growth in media outlets over the past few decades has been enormous. Yet, we are learning to tune them out and a new set of outlets will emerge. Consider the TiVo effect on television. How much longer will television networks and stations allow me to watch their shows while forwarding through the commercials? It’s probably a more dire situation than the advertisers know since surveying companies have had a big network influence, even while average cable and satellite customers have over 100 channels now to choose from. It’s hard to stay put on a live show anymore. I usually watch shows off TiVo in fast forward with closed captioning on. It's much more efficient.

Is it any wonder that the highest cost television ad was 10 years ago?

So what’s the answer? RFID. Coming soon to a shopping cart, billboard and doorway near you – monitors that detect your personal presence and pitch you a personalized ad that could actually get your attention. While RFID chips become more ubiquitous at close to 5 cents each and small as the period at the end of this sentence with increasing amounts of memory, monitors are cheapening in cost. It’s the perfect storm. Next time (well, maybe next year), you’re in aisle 8, the convergence of the frequent shopper card in your pocket and the fact that you’re next to those peas you like could mean a pop-up on that funny little cart monitor with a reminder about those little greenies.

Posted June 30, 2006 8:48 AM
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An article I recently published will be verticalized for the retail industry. I was asked to give my thoughts about trends facing those information management programs, based on my work in that industry. Although it may not seemingly be an information management concern, gas price increases are difficult to avoid as a major trend affecting retail as well as other industries.

Information management programs like data warehouses and master data management are being used to improve the analytic capabilities of retail organizations. This is being done to enable the natural follow-on to those activities that would place higher costs on long transport of items. Call it an economic “re-localization” or whatever you wish, but it is an inevitable result of current trends taken into the future. Did you know, from the supply side, the food industry operates under the presumption that the average piece of food we (U.S.A. citizens) purchase travels over a thousand miles from its origin!? This is only scalable when oil/gas is cheap.

Information management is naturally immune to heavy transport costs – at least on the surface. However, much of information management is an enabler of other highly affected industries like retail, consumer goods and energy. Some great thinkers in these industries are getting ready with their information for a continued increase in gas prices to the point where transport will become a primary determinant of product mix.

In the future, and who knows how long, if trends continue, people will come to be aware of and appreciate the production abilities of the land in their region. In a sense, the world may get bigger rather than smaller in our future.

Posted June 25, 2006 2:32 PM
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The Data Warehousing Institute recently named its 2006 annual list of "best practice" award winners. A CSI client is a winner. Business Intelligence has become the “center of the universe” for the AmerisourceBergen Specialty Group (ABSG). This is no more evident then when you visit the main page of the ABSG website (www.absg.com). Two words are repeated and have become the mantra for ABSG employees in 2006 - “Knowledge Driven". Now that's radical!

Posted June 21, 2006 12:10 PM
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I'm back from doing an MDM strategy in Saudi Arabia and trying to catch up on everything. So, Bill Gates, the richest man in the world, is stepping down in 2008 from his Microsoft post. Well, it's not like he has more to accomplish. Though he didn't start with rags, the riches he has achieved is beyond belief. He was the right person doing the right thing at the right time. What a journey!

I hope this is just the beginning of a second, more important, calling for Bill and Melinda. The Gates philanthropic endeavors are legendary, supporting world needs and making a difference in the lives of the sick and impoverished, especially in Africa, which desperately needs the world's help.

If somebody has to be the richest man in the world, I am certainly glad it's Bill Gates.

Posted June 20, 2006 9:09 AM
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When I come across an interesting use of technology, whether related to business intelligence or not, I like to bring it to you here. This shop owner invented a device that apparently emits an irritating high pitch that he cannot hear himself (he used his daughter to test it) but is designed to rid the teenage hangouts from loitering about his place of business. Since we lose ranges of hearing as we age, only the younger set (under 30 is mentioned) should hear it and be repelled by it.

Teenagers, however, have taken the technology over to their advantage by using it for ring tones in classrooms where teachers cannot hear it.

Ahh, technology. I'll call that even. Read about it here.

I tested it with my 9-yr. old son and, while I can still hear it, I cannot hear it as well as he can. Listen here (to the tone or to silence depending on your hearing.) ;-)

Posted June 18, 2006 6:16 PM
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