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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

IDC's RDBMS 2005 Vendor Share report came out last month. Here's a link to it on Oracle's site. Oracle has good reason to post it on their site. They still dominate the market - by far.

Microsoft is making huge strides and of course, IBM is in the mix. In the 'Future Outlook' of the report, there is a note about open source RDBMS such as MySQL. I would also throw in data warehouse appliances and suggest that these are 2 emerging technologies that are potentially disruptive to the status quo.

When market share is measured for 2006, I expect further increases from Oracle, Teradata and Microsoft. Perhaps by the 2007 numbers, Netezza and MySQL will merit their name on the list.

Posted June 8, 2006 8:19 AM
Permalink | 3 Comments |

How do you know if you're doing master data management/MDM? Well, first of all, it's unlikely that you're NOT doing some forms of managing master data in your organization. Master data is compiled for a variety of purposes in an organization, usually with limited sharing across those purposes and applications. Somewhere on the path of beginning to share, an organization will take a specific focus on that process. That focus may cause focuses (foci?) on any of the following:

- The quality of the data
- Widespread buy-in to the data
- Organizational ownership of the data
- Creation of workflow processes to collect multi-group input to the build of that data
- Apportionment of all enterprise data into managable chunks ("subject areas")
- Inventory of the various places that data is stored
- Ranking of the value of the various places that data is stored
- Creation of a unique database to store that data

At some point on this journey, an organization will come to the realization that there is an industry for this - the MDM industry - and adapt that terminology. This usually coincides with some budgetary allotment for the activities - the MDM budget of course.

Of course, that's one way a company comes to this realization. The other way is being exposed to the MDM industry and looking for its value to the organization, doing some top-down planning and beginning to engage these activities. Either way, each company should understand why they are doing MDM and where the ROI will come from. Though many will eschew this part of the process, it's important.

The (relatively) easy way to show the value is by showing how centralizing function will save on the myriad of pockets of like activity throughout the organization. I've blogged about MDM justification before. This blog is meant to lead into that one by elaborating on the MDM journey that many are going through.

Posted June 7, 2006 1:24 PM
Permalink | No Comments |

Last week, I focused on...
1. Time Management
2. Desire to succeed
3. Goal Setting

I fill out that list out further with these...
4. Brual honesty with oneself
5. Willingness to do the things nobody else wants to do
6. Paranoia

Being brutally honest with yourself means getting past ego talk and ego demands and setting progressive goals towards your bigger goals. As you hit these interim targets (or not), you know exactly where you stand.

Being willing to do the things nobody else wants to do might mean physical demands like traveling or it might mean doing the extras like writing or documenting. This might mean the development of new skills which don't necessarily come naturally, but are valued at your employer or in the market. The first article I ever wrote took me every evening of my week of vacation - in Hawaii. I didn't exactly bang that one out!

Personally, I count paranoia as a quality that sets truly top performers apart. Andrew Grove titled his book "Only the Paranoid Survive". If you're paranoid, you expect the worst and prepare for it. You expect to not get that promotion or for your company to have a setback or for the ETL jobs to fail tonight. In the process of expecting, if you don't automatically create a way to prevent the worst, you will be better prepared to react to it.

Keep striving. Top performers, by definition, are elite. I've tried to put some meat on that definition here in these posts.

Posted June 4, 2006 10:19 AM
Permalink | 1 Comment |

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