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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!

Platform research and development in large enterprises is necessary today more than ever.  The reasons:

1.       No shortage of data consolidation and re-platforming opportunities as a byproduct of the years and years of departmental and otherwise non-centralized data warehouse development

The drive for a reduced infrastructure footprint from the boardroom is finally giving the directors and vice presidents who preside over the various overlapping data warehouses in the environment reason to point out the redundancy.  Data consolidation projects have straightforward ROI at some level - the lower carrying costs of the multiple environments.  

2.       The emerging specialized future, providing new and confusing opportunities

A new variety of legitimate options in database orientation, architecture and hosting mean that research is necessary more now than ever.

3.       Growing cynicism in vendor messages

However confused you may believe your end user shop to be, that is as confused, or more, that the newly consolidated enterprise company sales force finds itself.  The options can be overwhelming and the advice largely needs to be updated and consistent.  Likewise, the sales quotas need the same alignment.  Consequently, the vendor messages are received with more cynicism and suspicion than ever.

4.       An increased realization that 2010 will not be the last year

2010 is already tuning out to be a progressive year for information management and there is seemingly no end to these projects and, as such, platform decisions of today may need to be revisited soon if not made optimally.  This could be costly.  The rate of data collection is beyond expectations.  Companies who never considered themselves to have terabyte level needs now have 5 terabytes under management.  Fortune 50 enterprises have hundreds of terabytes.  At this rate, petabytes are not far off.  There's a need to get it optimal now.  The alternative could be fatal to the business, not just IT.

These reasons are leading to more and more internal research.  The need is for a huge sandbox that supports practical information management platform investigation, both as a matter of curiosity as well as pre-planning specific upcoming platform needs.  Decisions today around platform, modeling approach (dimensional/normalized), columnar, hosting, memory use, etc. will be highly leveraged for years and your internal research, supported by independent unbiased consulting, is required to make the best decisions today.

Posted April 12, 2010 6:50 AM
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