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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!

September 2008 Archives

I had a chance to review Lyza a few times in the last couple of weeks – both before and after its launch on Sept. 22. The biggest reason why I like it is I found immediate applicability to both a client situation and a personal situation. I.e., I’ve actually used it. Perhaps another reason, by way of disclosure, is that I’ve known and like the team at Lyzasoft and know their goal to provide a strong value proposition to the market. The extent of the focus groups that went into the product development is amazing.

With dynamic connections to the underlying data sets you define to Lyza (refreshed with a click), I find that it extends the functionality of the desktop. Think of it as providing a functional way of enabling joins and analysis across file types. You will mostly use this with Excel, Word, Access and text files. You pick the cell to start the connection or the range of cells that define the connection. It does not have to be the entire file. Then, again, there will be enterprise uses for its ODBC/JDBC connectivity, which is probably its ultimate destination.

My favorite feature is the ability to put all these data types on an equal footing and establish the joins.

It also has the ability to store data that you may want to derive from the underlying data sources in its own (column oriented) data store. So, in effect Lyza itself can become one of the data stores used in the analysis. And you can publish complex worksheets that contain the logic, from the underlying files, to determine sales commissions, vendor rankings, promotion effectiveness, etc. Worksheets can also be effectively a data set and connect dynamically. The metadata makes tracking your way back very easy.

Though not to the level of a Tableau Software yet in terms of charts and display options, the conditional logic, rich function library and ability to subdivide a data set (i.e., 1st 10,000 rows, a random 500 rows) make it pretty rich for a version one.

Unlike more complex tools that fit the gather requirements, out-of-sight development and launch to users, many of the Lyza applications for users can be developed in front of the user, or by the user.

Lyza doesn’t categorize easily, but I think it’s going to find a fit in the large gap between Excel capabilities and data integration – the lair of the true business analyst. With its quasi-EII capabilities to understand source data from its metadata, Lyza fits the unstructured nature of the analyst’s work in a modern, heterogeneous corporate information environment.


Technorati tags: lyza, lyzasoft, Business Intelligence

Posted September 27, 2008 2:33 PM
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I was walking around the office the other day and I came across this, the Enron Code of Ethics. It's the real thing, from the glory days of Enron, and it actually reads very, very well. You would definitely come away from reading this thinking ethics were of utmost importance to this company.


Posted September 9, 2008 12:37 PM
Permalink | 1 Comment |

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