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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!

November 2007 Archives

I noticed that I currently seem to have 3 webinars available on the web. I've listed them, with abstract, below. You can access them by clicking here and scrolling to Webcasts.

"Best Practices for Designing and Implementing Sustainable, Long-term Data Quality Programs"

The volume of data coming into organizations is growing exponentially. Effective data quality management must be sustainable and designed for the long term. In this expert Webcast, discover best practices for designing and implementing data quality management programs that will stand the test of time and learn:

Best practices for successfully designing and implementing data quality management programs from start to finish. Why periodic batch cleansing is no longer enough for most organizations to maintain data quality for the long term. Secrets of successful data quality management programs, common mistakes and how to avoid them.

"Microsoft SQL Server 2005"

William McKnight presents a Microsoft on-demand web seminar on how Microsoft SQL Server 2005 provides a robust, scalable, and enterprise-ready data warehouse environment. Join this session to learn how you can take advantage of the new enhancements in partitioning, manageability, and query optimizations to streamline your data warehouse operations and increase performance.

"Modernizing and Advancing Information Management across the Enterprise"

William McKnight, renowned information management architect, outlines the modern components of information management and helps participants understand how innovations can be put to work in today’s ever more complex IT environment.

If you prefer, you can see and hear the last presentation through a streaming presentation at this link.


Posted November 27, 2007 12:28 PM
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A trend I anticipate to start in 2008 is a byproduct of the enormous M&A activity that has taken place, and will continue to take place. That trend is what I call “framework purchasing.” Many end user organizations, and more to come, when they are rounding out their technology stack, will have to highly consider chiefly the offering from one of the mega-vendors already in their shop and align with their emerging platform (note I didn’t say standard.) There will be tool replacements as well as these vendors drive cross-selling with discounts and the lure of tool integration, the latter of which will take some time.

Consider that with their respective buying sprees, SAP, Microsoft, IBM and Oracle are approaching, or at, complete stacks for not just business intelligence, but enterprise software as a whole. Consider the rich application stack of Hyperion and its data access tool combined with Peoplesoft, JD Edwards, Siebel, Retek, Agile, G log and Demantra. Of course, I just used the “old” names. I guess I am being a little nostalgic. Not to pick out the new Oracle stack here necessarily. IBM, Business Objects and Microsoft have similar stories to tell. However, as the mega-vendors have been busy filling out their gaps and we prepare to draw our collective breath, has anyone noticed SAP does not have its own DBMS? As well, the DBMS market is about as rich with supply as it has been in a decade.

Of those DBMS vendors, one has bought a tremendous amount of time and a place at the table and that is Teradata. Teradata and SAS, jointly, appear to want to be a major player here, with a partnership forged in Q4 that gives buyers an alternative. Teradata’s strategy (and architecture extensions) of extending the data warehouse back into the operational arena appears to be paying off as they are advancing with the industry. One more player in all this, possibly the most upset by all the M&A activity, is Hewlett Packard. Wither HP and their big plans for NeoView? Teradata and/or HP could use a Microstrategy or an Informatica if interested in getting into this emerging big name short list.

The acquisitions of 2007 will bring out the iconoclastic in some client companies who will want to keep all their vendors on a short rope and will continue to think best-of-breed. The entire BI market will rise over the next decade so startups, best-of-breeds and open source vendors that have vision, focus and a message should still do well in the margins of the big guns.

I think the business books in 2018 will look favorably on the recent moves of SAP, Microsoft, IBM and Oracle. The signal that BI had evolved to this point in maturity was when Oracle bought Hyperion. However, I don’t expect the recent acquisitions to impact clients for quite some time. If I could effect a yawn with words, I would do it here.

So, if they haven’t already, end user companies should begin to look ahead and figure out who they want to be in their approach to the market – a mega-vendor purchaser with a relationship and a commensurate built-in culture or a company who values independence and will incubate their own culture. I believe 2008 will start to bring back the notion a “primary” vendor.

Technorati tags: DBMS, data-warehouse, business-intelligence, SAP, Oracle, IBM, Microsoft


Posted November 21, 2007 9:16 AM
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1. At the airport with last words “mind the cart”
2. Ducking from a client at Ozzfest, I end up in the mosh pit
3. Parking near Britney Spears (this could be anyone)
4. Having heart broken by client who promised the contract process would be painless
5. Inadvertently uttering the word “federated” during Teradata Partners presentation
6. During slow time, take a gig at Luigi’s Laundry and start asking why my first SQL query shows millions in revenues
7. Caught in internal cross-fire during Inmon vs. Kimball debate
8. Exploding in client meeting from holding off bathroom run
9. In trying to follow the advice of other consultants, I end up running in circles until dangerously dizzy
10. Under a hail of expo hall give-aways tossed during a presentation


Posted November 19, 2007 8:02 AM
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I'll be speaking at Oracle Open World with Haidong Song, Principal Product Strategy Manager, Master Data Management, Oracle Corp and Gino Fortunato, Solution Architect, Oracle Consulting, on November 13 in San Francisco on the topic “Data Governance, Data Stewardship and Data Quality” and will attempt to clear up the interfaces and responsibilities between these concepts. 10:45 am at Marriott Nob Hill AB.


Posted November 1, 2007 2:46 PM
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In "Top 10 Largest Databases in the World", the author covers the top 10 largest databases in the world. Their sizes are impressive indeed.

Speaking of large databases, I recently commented in an article that "The amount of information uptake into a corporation when RFID is implemented can be unprecedented. The largest data stores in the world soon will be in manufacturing and will comprise mostly item movement data."

Technorati tags: Data warehouse, RFID, DBMS


Posted November 1, 2007 2:35 PM
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