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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!


For much of the last decade, conventional theories surrounding decision support

architectures have focused more on cost than business benefit. Lack of Return on

Investment (ROI) quantification has resulted in platform selection criteria being focused

on perceived minimization of initial system cost rather than maximizing lasting value to

the enterprise. Often these decisions are made within departmental boundaries without

consideration of an overarching data warehousing strategy.


This reasoning has led many organizations down the eventual path of data mart proliferation.

This represents the creation of non-integrated data sets developed to address

specific application needs, usually with an inflexible design. In the vast majority of

cases, data mart proliferation is not the result of a chosen architectural strategy, but a

consequence due to lack of an architectural strategy.


To further complicate matters, the recent economic environment and ensuing budget

reduction cycles have forced IT managers to find ways of squeezing every drop of

performance out of their systems while still managing to meet users' needs. In other

words, we're all being asked to do more with less. Wouldn't it be great to follow in

others' footsteps and learn from their successes while still being considered a thought



The good news is that the data warehousing market is now mature enough that there are

successes and best practices to be leveraged. There are proven methods to reduce costs,

gain efficiencies, and increase the value of enterprise data. Pioneering organizations

have found a way to save millions of dollars while providing their users with integrated,

consistent, and timely information. The path that led to these results started with a

rapidly emerging trend in data warehousing today - Data Mart Consolidation (DMC).

I've learned that companies worldwide are embracing DMC as a way to save large

amounts of money while still providing high degrees of business value with ROI. DMC

is an answer to the issues many face today.  


My paper on this subject available here details the process of DMC at eight different organizations while capturing the keys to success from each. These case studies were specifically selected to demonstrate several variations on the concept of consolidation. While there is no such thing as a "cookie-cutter" DMC process, there are common best practices and lessons to be shared.


Posted November 7, 2010 4:44 PM
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