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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!

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I wish you all the best as we embark on a new year. It is exciting, as always, to look forward to a new year. 2009 may require more resolve than other years, but I hope you find it to be the best year ever and not allow anything to dissuade you from entering the year with that outlook and making that your reality.

2008 was a challenging year for nearly everyone, especially those caught up in the economic downturn. My teams and I still helped over 25 companies improve their business and their use of information and thousands improve their skills and contributions. My goal for 2009 is to double the impact.

Finally, I must say Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! Without clients, friends, business partners and people who read and engage like YOU, there would be no practice. I am eternally grateful for your support and referrals. Happy New Year.

Posted December 31, 2008 8:34 AM
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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
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"Data is like garbage. You had better know what you are going to do with it before you collect it."

Posted May 30, 2008 12:25 PM
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Wouldn’t it be helpful if, when dealing with your consultants, vendors, support groups and employees, one of the following paragraphs magically appeared above their head in a quote bubble?

1. I am acting as an advocate. I am exercising my passion and persuasion on behalf of my firm, my department or a cause in which I do not privately believe is the best solution aligned with your objectives.


2. I really believe what I am saying here. It is the best I can do and it makes sense for my understanding of your objectives.

Posted May 28, 2008 10:21 AM
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Jeffrey Ma was the keynote speaker at the MDM Summit Sunday night in San Francisco. He is the subject of the (current top box office) movie "21" about the MIT Blackjack team that took their system to Vegas on weekends. The system gave them, at most, a 2% advantage over the house. When deployed over time, that is sure to be most profitable. I saw the movie and I really enjoyed it.

One thing you'll notice, if you saw the movie, is that Mr. Ma does not look like the actor who portrayed him in the movie, who is Caucasian.

Aaron Zornes, Chief Research Officer for the MDM Institute, kicked off the session by rightfully announcing that CDI (customer data integration) was important in bringing the MIT team down.

The team's success at blackjack came from the same places where our success in other business comes from: trust and teamwork, planning and organization, common goal setting and commitment to analytics.

Jeffrey's main message was not to let emotion guide your decisions. He mentioned that Jerry West, longtime NBA luminary as a player, coach and executive, "hated statistics" because the common ones do not take enough information into account to really be useful. Jeffrey can work on this in his current venture - Protrade, a sports stock market website.

Technorati tags: Jeffrey MA, 21

Posted April 4, 2008 2:08 PM
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There's been another data security breach. This one at Sweetbay Supermarket. They join Hannaford, Agilent, Harvard University, Pfizer, Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital, Georgetown University and others as the latest companies where one of the various forms of data breaches has occured.

With lawyers pouncing immediately with class-action suits on the perpetrators, fines and shame, why does the vast majority of the data which is interesting to theives still unencrypted and vulnerable? My Gartner Top 10 review didn't include encryption, not because it should not be there, but because I have yet to see much being done about it. I'm looking for the tipping point, like about 1988 in the credit card business, where credit cards companies got serious about fraud and made it reduce dramatically, to levels it has stayed at ever since.

Perhaps data breach has become so common, it's not viewed as problematic.

These events are not going away anytime soon.

Technorati tags: encryption, data breach, fraud

Posted March 27, 2008 3:36 PM
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1. At the airport with last words “mind the cart”
2. Ducking from a client at Ozzfest, I end up in the mosh pit
3. Parking near Britney Spears (this could be anyone)
4. Having heart broken by client who promised the contract process would be painless
5. Inadvertently uttering the word “federated” during Teradata Partners presentation
6. During slow time, take a gig at Luigi’s Laundry and start asking why my first SQL query shows millions in revenues
7. Caught in internal cross-fire during Inmon vs. Kimball debate
8. Exploding in client meeting from holding off bathroom run
9. In trying to follow the advice of other consultants, I end up running in circles until dangerously dizzy
10. Under a hail of expo hall give-aways tossed during a presentation

Posted November 19, 2007 8:02 AM
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This is funny. From Scotland. A shoplifting seagull. He's a regular at this store, always grabbing the same brand of Doritos.


Posted October 22, 2007 12:38 PM
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According to research, we only need to see the first and last letters of a word in order to understand it. This is the first paragraph of my last blog entry, scrambled:

"Tihs miornng, it was aounecnnd that SPA itnneds to buy Beisunss Otbjecs for the elvueiaqnt of $6.8 biillon. Wlihe Bnsesuis Ocebjts will inililaty be run as a wollhy-oewnd siiusradby, I can ciltnaery see the vuale of Bsseunis Objtecs swaortfe being adedd to the SAP ERP - elalpesciy the paotrl, the OALP tool and the data qliatuy tool. SAP saftwore eentualvly colud be rpehesad by this atosiicquin, not olny the ERP, but also the Business Wohurease."

Other than the acronyms, yes, I think I would get this.

I sbrmeelacd this wtih the Jaiprsacvt code at tihs link.

It’s an editor’s productivity-turbo charging tool. Why edit all the letters? If there are 6 letters in the average work and now you only need to get 2 out 6 right you can forget 4 out of 6. For writers with bigger words the productivity on a percentage basis gets even better. It seems like a tremendous productivity enhancer, not to mention how many months of school our kids are wasting on spelling - they could get productive sooner in life and the compounding effect would probably advance humanity generations into the future – it's either brillant or the most useless piece of code ever written.

Technorati tags: Javascript

Posted October 15, 2007 9:11 AM
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