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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!

Santa brought many a package this year - a packaged data warehouse.  There are a host of these offerings now available which represent the consultant dream of repackaging custom work to more customers.  Of course, the popular ones come from the large vendors who own the systems which originate the data that is challenging to warehouse.  For many, these approaches yields the following practical benefits:

 

  • Enterprise Data Model using relatively acceptable best-practices and standards
  • Views for the Business Model metadata
  • ETL framework containing mappings/routines to load and refresh the data warehouse
  • 100s of reports and dashboard content
  • ETL routines have built-in Change Data Capture logic
  • Open Interfaces to  other data sources
  • Industry standard Metadata for Common Business Functions (i.e. AP, AR, GL, Sales Forecasting, Pipeline, etc.)
  • Faster Time to some value
  • Small team to deploy initially
  • New features available via upgrades

 

It IS the fastest route to SOME value.  Is it the right value for you?  Is the time savings worth the extra cost?  Will it pay off in the long run?  It's not something to get into lightly.  Unfortunately, packaged data warehousing tends to come with many misconceptions that make it seem more attractive.  These are the most common:

 

1.      It's a total plug-and-play

  1. Data modeling is not important
  2. The client does not have to staff data warehouse expertise
  3. The business does not have to be involved
  4. Data quality is not important
  5. Your individual enhancements will merge seamlessly with vendor enhancements in their releases
  6. The vendor will continue to upgrade its solution in real-time with the corresponding source system
  7. There are no other costs, i.e., Hardware costs, Employee costs, Consulting costs

 

Be sure to take a complete and multi-faceted view of this important decision.


Posted February 2, 2010 11:39 AM
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