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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!

Recently in Ownership Category

I'm sure there's some value in ITIL, the IT Infrastructure Library, but I'm just having a hard time with the definition. It seems like it could be describing anything...

"ITIL is the most widely accepted approach to IT service management in the world. ITIL provides a comprehensive and consistent set of best practices for IT service management, promoting a quality approach to achieving business effectiveness and efficiency in the use of information systems.

ITIL is based on the collective experience of commercial and governmental practitioners worldwide. This has been distilled into one reliable, coherent approach, which is fast becoming a de facto standard used by some of the world's leading businesses."

Technorati tags: ITIL

Posted March 27, 2008 10:36 AM
Permalink | 2 Comments |

It's occurred to me that there are 2 areas that continually need work in my clients' data governance/steering (and data stewardship) programs. This work comes AFTER the participants are selected and usually after the programs are engaged.

1. The IT team really has no interest in being advised on what to do in the first place
2. No 2 governance members can agree on what that advice should be anyway

Make sure the IT team is accountable to the advisement from governance and make sure that governance includes a sponsor attuned to this (#2) reality and empowered to foster collaborative advice.

Posted January 16, 2008 12:41 PM
Permalink | 2 Comments |

I'll be speaking at Oracle Open World with Haidong Song, Principal Product Strategy Manager, Master Data Management, Oracle Corp and Gino Fortunato, Solution Architect, Oracle Consulting, on November 13 in San Francisco on the topic “Data Governance, Data Stewardship and Data Quality” and will attempt to clear up the interfaces and responsibilities between these concepts. 10:45 am at Marriott Nob Hill AB.

Posted November 1, 2007 2:46 PM
Permalink | 1 Comment |

At the Information Management Conference 2007 in Copenhagen this week, Lars Monrad-Gylling, CEO of KMD, a consulting firm who has just completed Denmark’s largest IT and data management project, shared a unique motivational idea he used on the sub projects. The status of all projects were broadcasted widely, including on a BIG SCREEN in the cafeteria with the name of the responsible project leader with the appropriate green (smiley), yellow (neutral) or red (frowny) face icon next to the name. They also sent news to the press on the status of each project. Talk about incentive to be on track.

Technorati tags: Data Warehouse, Project Management

Posted May 26, 2007 10:42 AM
Permalink | No Comments |

Many business intelligence (BI) programs have delivered a solid initial rollout, but program managers find challenges in getting beyond those first targets. Often the methods that ushered in the early ROI plan are too free-flowing and unmanageable when users are counting on the data warehouse for production needs. And once the concept is proven, recouping the investment requires a rollout beyond the initial set of core users. However, prospective users of BI require more than a well-built infrastructure in order to convert them to daily users. Attracting users—which is required for success—can be a difficult and elongated process.

For the rest of this article I wrote that's in the latest Teradata Magazine, please see Feel free to comment on it here.

Posted March 23, 2006 12:58 PM
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The premise of this article in E-Commerce Times is that the CFO is so responsible for organizational data (i.e., compliance) that, in some shops, s/he might as well run all of IT. Wow! I'm not sure where this "consensus" referenced is coming from, but I have not encountered this. We've come so far in terms of legitimizing the CIO position away from being pure support of any department and/or reporting to the CFO. Most CIOs are peers of CFOs.

Despite the obvious importance of Sarbanes-Oxley, I don't believe this is a trend. CIOs must be sensitive now to not only internal knowledge worker clients supporting customer needs, but to internal compliance requirements. This is a natural step for most CIOs. The position has developed strong business acumen over the years and should be able to work closely with the CFO to deliver on compliance requirements without the entire function going under the CFO.

Posted November 21, 2005 8:23 AM
Permalink | 2 Comments |

I was speaking with a sales associate in the BI vendor community recently. He had a sales experience where the client actually went with a technology that the client admitted was of a lesser fit and price/performance that his, but the comforts of selecting a bigger “name” vendor and how that name would look on the resume won out.

I call this the Resume Factor. Unlike the example above, the Resume Factor is usually subconscious and denied, but it comes into play when the person choosing the technology considers how the choice will have a positive impact on their resume.

Though I advocate that there are just a few reasonable business intelligence “frameworks” in the market to choose from today, some are newer than others and there is still serious movement happening as vendors joust to round out their complete BI set. From time to time, I'll review the frameworks here in the blog.

While the Resume factor can be consciously avoided, the real consideration is trying to determine what framework the product you are selecting will belong to, if you agree with it (i.e., philosophically, skill-set and system compatibility wise) and if that framework will be a winning framework.

Remember that today’s riskier vendor selection may be part of one of tomorrow’s frameworks, by virtue of acquisition or otherwise, that will lack needed market resources – and there you are, more marketable. There’s still a little room for this to happen, selectively, in the market.

Posted September 19, 2005 1:00 PM
Permalink | 1 Comment |

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