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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!

May 2009 Archives

I read "Data Modeling for the Business" by Hoberman, Burbank and Bradley this week.  It's an excellent read that I recommend and I will have a book review up here on the Network soon.

Page 120 sparked something that I thought I'd blog about.  It says "if you tell the sponsor that this initiative will help improve the company's marketing program effectiveness by making sure that we have correct customer information, and that all departments are sharing this information for their corporate-wide initiatives, you are likely to get some interest (and funding!)."

While I agree with the sentiment of aligning initiatives with the business goals, there is another part of the story I wanted to interject.  The problem in gaining interest may not be in the alignment.  Sponsors may agree that doing the project (in this case, data modeling) well will achieve some important business goals.  However, the problem may be that they do not believe that the people bringing the idea are well equipped to EXECUTE the project appropriately to achieve the desired results.

The point is to not only align projects, but also to convey the capability to deliver on the promise. 

Posted May 8, 2009 2:32 PM
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Join me next Thursday as I talk about the Hottest Issues in Oracle Business Intelligence.


Oracle Corporation (Oracle) is undoubtedly one of the market leaders in business intelligence technology.  With tools and products for just about every business function and problem, Oracle Business Intelligence (OBI) offers something for your entire enterprise.

But with so many options available, what's a customer to do?  How does one make sense of Oracle Business Intelligence?

Leveraging that experience, William has put together a highly informative webinar for this spring on The Hottest Issues in OBI!

This complimentary, 60-minute webinar is scheduled for Thursday, May 14, 2009 from 1pm to 2pm Central.  During the session, William will a range of OBI-related topics.  Those include:

  • Oracle's BI and EPM product evolution
  • Oracle BI applications:  What do you really get?
  • OBIEE+, OBI applications and Oracle Enterprise Performance Management (EPM):
    What are the differences and which is right for your business?

Posted May 5, 2009 7:52 PM
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With the economy tightening, one benefactor has been syndicated information.  Many companies, in their search for additional revenue streams, are now selling their data to the syndicated marketplace.  Some had not even known about the option, while others had been opposed to doing so.  Those who can do this are those with good information management.

While this adds some more data to the syndicated marketplace - for you to utilize - it also adds some more chaos to that world.  Syndicators are quickly integrating their new assets with their existing business and consumer profiles.

Consider newspapers.  The market is moving away from print content and to digital content.  Newspapers had the position of community pillar and the the storekeeper of its data.  For many years, there was little else to turn to for advertisement.  Now, there are the eBays, amazons, CraigsLists, googles, etc., and many are running with community sections now so they have global efficiencies with localization.  They are game-changers.  Newspapers may fall further behind.  One challenge has been the newspapers structure of separating the digital and print teams.  A place to begin bringing these together is at the information.

Newspapers need not sell their information to the digital giants if they can capitalize on the data themselves.

I'm sure some newspapers will move into this new world, getting with the social networking trends, building web traffic and otherwise innovating and engaging their customers.  Digitally.  Their biggest asset now is definitely their information.  If the data is available, it has knowledge that the Googles can't touch.  Sell the data or utilize it, but to not recognize its importance is terminal.

Posted May 1, 2009 7:19 AM
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