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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

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

It’s time for a look at the industry of information management and its direction with some predictions for 2007. This is going to take a few blog entries, but I’ll start with five trends.

1. Continued support of the end-user experience. Business Objects’ Intelligent Query and Encyclopedia are good examples of usability products that go well beyond the typical drag and drop interface. Without tools like the evolution of these tools, and others, in the market, users need to know what they are looking for, need training, and need to know how to navigate metadata to become effective. Many drop out of the parade too early with these requirements. What tools that want to be adopted en masse in 2008 need to do now is begin to apply search technology to the user experience. Think Google for BI.

2. Data Governance and Stewardship. Nice balances of responsibilities are finally grudgingly being formed in organizations between business side and IT side interests. Governance and Stewardship are working, with governance being the higher-level, direction-setting body and stewardship from the business being a part of the extended build team, directing transformation rules and quality efforts.

3. Master Data Management. 2007 will see the perfect storm that launches MDM efforts deeper into the ‘type A’ organization struggling with mastering customer, product, parts and other data. Realizing the data warehouse is too late in the lifecycle to be effective doing this, we will see more efforts labeled MDM take up the charge. This may come in the form of a subset of functions of a real/right-time data warehouse, but more commonly, it will be hub and EII/SOA-based architectures promoted by the burgeoning MDM software industry.

4. EII. As an enabler of virtual integration, this maligned industry will see more acceptance in 2007 as their capabilities have grown, leaving some data standing pat physically where it is, but vastly increasing its usability in cultures pursuing information leadership.

5. Offshoring information management settles in. Vendors and consultancies lick their wounds from offshored failures to figure it out. Apparently, it’s more complex and business-oriented than first thought. At some point after 2007, the drum will beat loudly again and balanced approaches may succeed where all-or-nothing approaches failed.

Technorati tags: Information Management, EII, Offshoring, Master Data Management, Data Governance, Stewardship

Posted November 3, 2006 2:10 PM
Permalink | 1 Comment |

1 Comment

As an EII vendor, we certainly hope your prediction comes true.

I like the way you couch EII: "in cultures pursuing information leadership." I think this sums up the sentiment of all of us in the EII sector. We have something useful. Try it. We're not trying to burn down your data warehouse. Just giving you a new tool based on a technology that has finally come of age. A familiar pattern.

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