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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

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in William's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

Some of the consequences of making inappropriate DBMS selection for DW/BI include:

• Long development cycles
• High numbers of support staff required
• Cost expansion
• “Throwing hardware at problems” as a solution
• Users reverting to old means of data access with user interfaces that are not friendly
• A technology-focused culture rather than a user culture in IT
• Complex vendor relationships
• Hard to incorporate legacy systems and unstructured data
• Inability to keep pace with growing data volumes and user demands
• Inability to show profitability from data warehouse efforts, leading to slow program demise

Posted October 18, 2006 11:50 AM
Permalink | 2 Comments |


This is certainly true. Many companies make hardware and software decisions without first understanding their requirements. How many times do you hear, “we are a Microsoft shop, or we are an Oracle shop”?

This posting got me thinking about what to do when you find yourself in this situation. How do you tell your CIO that the thousands of dollars spent on your data warehouse investment are not working for you? I tried to answer some of these questions on my blog ( I am not sure that I accomplished that, but it is something of a roadmap to turning the situation around if you find yourself in that position.

William, I am interested in your thoughts on this. How do you deliver the “bad news”? What approach would you take to re-assess a company’s technology and keep the business sponsors behind the program?

The fact that a DBMS is used otherwise in a company actually should carry some weight in the DW DBMS decision. It indicates synergy in the data center and with skills on the IT team. Major DBMS players otherwise in organizations, like IBM, Oracle and Microsoft, have kept their DW offerings strong, even focusing on DW in their offerings the last few years. Still sometimes the "obvious" choice isn't the best one for the paramters of a company situation. With justification of anything, for me, it's about the dollars. Lowest TCO without sacrificing the future (causing more dollars to be spent, obviously) is the approach to keep the emotions out.

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