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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!

Recently in Job Market Category

There is quite a bit of job movement in data warehousing and business intelligence today, with a couple of high-profile moves making headlines. This happens when there are opportunities and the market is slow to react to the requirements for keeping employees.

Consequently, there may be many readers of this blog who are considering a job change. Many new jobs do not ultimately meet expectations. The major reason is because the job move was done too hastily and the new position was not evaluated carefully enough before it was accepted. So, thinking about all the moves I’ve seen, I’ve provided some tips for making a move a successful one.

1. Interview multiple places. Force yourself to get multiple real offers. This will give you the confidence to negotiate and examine each position to the degree necessary.
2. Ask questions that project yourself into the position after the bloom is off and you are settled, i.e., at 6 week and 6 month timeframes. What will you be expected to have accomplished by then? What will you be doing then?
3. Understand the office culture. If it is a highly driven, impersonal culture and you like to shoot the breeze, you will not like it. What personalities will thrive in the culture? Is it your personality?
4. Understand how many hours your boss works and if s/he takes work home, and how frequently. Many people prefer a round-the-clock mentality because it festers accomplishment and career progression.
5. Look around the workspace when you visit. See those people in cubes, offices, meeting rooms, etc. That will be you if you get the job. How does that feel?
6. Surprise your interviewers with some well thought-out questions. Catch them off guard. Your gut should tell you if the interviewer is affording you a healthy measure of candor. If you get answers with spin, trying to paint a rosy picture for everything, that’s not candor. Most people prefer high levels of candor.
7. It’s all about fit. Don’t portray yourself as something you’re not. You’re only fooling yourself into a bad fit.


Posted September 17, 2006 3:30 PM
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From interviews with hundreds of BI professionals over the past year as part of my environment assessments, there are a few conclusions I can draw. One of them is that, as compared to previous years, more people don't want to be a manager and this includes managers. I suggest a variety of factors leading to this:

1. Managers have too many meetings

Self-explanatory

2. The people who work for you have higher expectations of what you need to do for them

You get to play counselor, psychologist, motivational speaker and, most definitely, personal advisor. These aspects of the job can be quite a change from the technical work.

3. Recent technology innovations provide an attractive career path on the technical side

Real-time data warehousing, EII/EAI, ERP integration, master data management, managing multi-terabytes of data, diverse and growing user communities, etc. all keep the BI technical professional out of persistent doldrums.

4. Technology changes make it seem difficult that you can get back on the technology track if you wanted to someday.

This has resulted in very careful consideration of the management track on the part of many BI professionals.

5. Long hours as in being told 55 hours per week are not enough

Self-explanatory

Management has always had its difficult challenges, but in the past those were acceptable based on the financial and career upside. However, in today's economy, with restructuring activity rampant, many of the hierarchical structures of the past, and the perceived benefits of moving into management, have been eliminated. With merger and acquisiton activity, managers now also supervise across state and country boundaries and across functions, exacerbating the stress (and lowering job security).

If you have any opinions as to whether, in your experience, this is true, please post.

Also if you have an opinion as to whether this is hurting or helping business intelligence programs, post those here as well.


Posted November 11, 2005 9:57 AM
Permalink | 2 Comments |

According to this recent article in ADTmag.com, citing a survey by Foote Partners, "Data Managers are Hottest of the Hot."

The article says data professionals are in good shape for the next 12 months and only selectively subject to outsourcing or offshoring.

I have subscribed to the Earl Nightingale school of thought, which says you are compensated based on:
1. What you do
2. How well you do it
3. Who you do it for
4. The difficulty of replacing you

According to the article, data management professionals are at least doing something demanding. Now about "how well you do it" and "who you do it for", that is up to you....


Posted November 5, 2005 2:16 PM
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