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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!

August 2007 Archives

In no particular order, I’m going to be addressing this topic in a series of blog entries, starting with the approach to the build.

While a top down approach may seem ideal, data warehouses get built bottoms-up. The best data warehouses are built bottoms-up, but the worst data warehouses are built extreme bottoms-up. By extreme, I mean without any sense of where it’s all going, costing, best practices or where the ROI is going to come from. Like a virus growing within the organization, so the data warehouse expands to encompass other random and redundant data, becoming important enough to keep around, but with an organization that’s never sure why and with increasing concern about what it doesn’t do. Eventually, it gets redone until enough top-down is inserted into the process to make it usable. So, in other words, injecting some top-down elements into data warehousing is essential, but don’t believe it’s going to be complete top-down.

Technorati tags: data warehouse

Posted August 28, 2007 8:11 AM
Permalink | 1 Comment |

If you were building a business intelligence tool from scratch today, in 2007, you would probably develop it as an enterprise search tool with user access capabilities that accommodate English-like approaches to query. And, indeed, that seems to be the horizon of a different set of tools such as those by Fast, Coppereye and Endeca, all of which appear to tolerate the DBMS, but also are poised to access information in disparate places. You may or may not consider these as BI vendors, but I suggest they are.

Bigger BI players will be adopting enterprise search as a means to extend their footprint in shops and spur new activity in existing clients. I think it will pull more people into active usage of information, but it will largely end up as cannibalization for the bigger vendors - a necessary and costly shift to keep the customer base.

“BI for the masses” as a concept will not mean interactive OLAP capabilities for broad audiences in any organization. Rather, it means the benefits of BI and interactive access will extend to the functions performed by all in an organization. It also means a wider deployment of information consumption.

Do you agree? Will we see a shift in how information is accessed?

Technorati tags: Business Intelligence, Enterprise Search

Posted August 17, 2007 2:40 PM
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Take on an RFID chip sub-dermal just to do your job? Here we have the first Americans injected as such to do their jobs. Naturally, this raises our sensitivities about privacy and, indeed, there was protest. Will privacy be a real issue impeding RFID expansion – not only on the product side, but clearly more importantly on the human side? Those RFID executives I talk to say it’s strictly press fodder and hardly a real business consideration. The introduction of the bar code elicited similar concerns about privacy invasion. RFID is just another phase in that ongoing drama. We hardly think of bar codes as privacy invasion anymore. What people really seem to care about more is having the product they want on the shelf when they want it. Though the dots aren’t always connected with the public, RFID does certifiably support this goal.

Technorati tags: RFID, privacy

Posted August 7, 2007 6:59 PM
Permalink | 1 Comment |

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