William McKnight's contributions to SearchDataManagement.com

Access all of William McKnight's data warehouse and business intelligence advice and best practices.

About the author

William is the president of McKnight Consulting Group. William functions as strategist, lead enterprise information architect and program manager for complex, high-volume, full life-cycle implementations worldwide -- utilizing the disciplines of data warehousing, master data management (MDM), business intelligence (BI), data quality and operational BI. McKnight is a Southwest Entrepreneur of the Year finalist, a frequent best-practices judge, has authored more than 150 articles and white papers and given over 150 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 VP of a Fortune company, a former engineer of DB2 at IBM and holds an MBA. William is also the author of the book 90 Days to Success in Consulting. He can be reached at william@williammcknight.com.

William McKnight regularly answers readers' questions in the SearchDataManagement.com Ask the Expert section. Ask him a question or browse other experts and their responses to data management questions.

Data warehouse strategy

How will the Sun acquisition affect Oracle data warehouse strategy?
Find out how Oracle’s acquisition of Sun may affect Oracle data warehouse strategy and what it means for users. Also, see what role packaged BI software plays in Oracle’s strategy.

When to use a DBMS and the future of data warehousing data management
Find out when you should use a DBMS with your data warehouse, and learn about the future of data warehousing data management and current state of data warehouse architecture.

Business intelligence advice and best practices

What is required to run business intelligence analysis applications?
William answers a readers question on what hardware and software a company needs to successfully run business intelligence (BI) analysis applications and what BI can do for businesses.

How to buy a business intelligence (BI) platform
Find out if there are any warning sings letting you know if your company is not ready to buy a business intelligence (BI) platform with insight from William McKnight.

Understanding operational reporting and the data warehouse
Should operational reporting come from the data warehouse or vice versa? Get William's take on the subject and learn more about operation systems and reporting.

Should business intelligence analysis tie in with operational reports?
Read about William's rules for tying business intelligence (BI) system content back to the sources and what "percentage of tolerance" he recommends.

Do we need business intelligence (BI) tools to be successful?
Get William's take on whether you need business intelligence (BI) tools to be successful and learn how about low cost BI including cheap and open source BI tools.

How to explain and define business intelligence to mid-management
Find out how to explain and define BI for middle-level managers and learn how decision support services are linked to BI.

What are the best analytical tools for business intelligence for finance?
Learn about business intelligence for finance, compare financial business intelligence tools and discover some of the best pattern matching and analytical tools for the financial services.

Fastest way to learn business intelligence (BI)
Find out how you can learn business intelligence (BI), get business intelligence training and discover why analytics is the key to marketing efforts in this BI tip.

Should a data steward have direct SQL access for reporting purposes?
Find out when a data steward should have direct SQL access and how to request SQL access to get data directly from the data warehouse for reporting and analytical purposes.

Business intelligence market growth for 2009 and beyond
Get an William's view on business intelligence (BI) market growth up to this date and projected BI market growth for 2009 and beyond in this Q/A.

Comparing Cognos vs. Business Objects for BI reporting
Find out how to compare Cognos vs Business Objects, including how these BI tools compare for developing business intelligence reports and regular BI reporting.

Business intelligence in management careers
Learn how you can use business intelligence in management careers and how to build a management resume with business intelligence experience.

Who should the business intelligence team report to?
Learn which department the business intelligence (BI) team should report to -- and why.

Starting a business intelligence career from a financial background
Learn various business intelligence career options for professionals with financial analyst experience. It may not be that hard to make the transition, according to a BI expert.

Data warehouse and business intelligence team reporting structure
Learn why data warehouse and business intelligence (DW/BI) team reporting structure matters, according to an expert. And find out who the DW/BI team should report to.

Data mining uses in vertical industries
Get examples of how data mining is used in vertical industries, such as retail, manufacturing, healthcare and financial and telecommunications.

Business intelligence career through Web development
Learn why it's possible to start a business intelligence career through gaining Web development experience.

Business intelligence information management (BIIM) vs. BI
What is business intelligence information management (BIIM)? Learn what our expert says about business intelligence and information management.

How to transition to real-time business intelligence and data warehousing
Learn how real-time business intelligence (BI) impacts a data warehouse and get expert tips for making the transition to real-time BI.

Do you need managed reporting tools and business intelligence (BI) tools?
Learn if it's necessary to have both business intelligence (BI) tools and managed reporting tools.

Can data mining expertise help my career?
Learn if acquiring data mining expertise is a wise career move that will help you find a job.

Data mining in the healthcare industry
Learn the advantages of data mining in the healthcare industry, according to our analytics expert, William McKnight.

Business intelligence analyst career advice
Learn how to start a business intelligence analyst career and find out what industries are healthiest right now, according to BI expert William McKnight.

Data mining tools: Advantages and disadvantages of implementation
Learn the advantages and disadvantages of data mining tools and of implementing data mining technology.

Ways to begin a business intelligence career
Get advice on various ways to begin a business intelligence career -- including online education and conferences.

Business activity monitoring (BAM) software: How to choose and customize
Learn the best way to select or customize your business activity monitoring software -- which begins with analyzing your business requirements.

Enterprise search and business intelligence: What's in store
Find out what our expert has to say about the future of enterprise search and business intelligence.

Are business intelligence certifications worth it?
Are business intelligence certifications worth it? Get certification advice from our business intelligence expert, William McKnight.

Business intelligence security considerations
There are two main components to business intelligence security: access and profiling.

Business intelligence and data warehousing team structure
Business intelligence and data warehousing teams are constructed differently, but most are placed within the IT department and include some basic, common roles.

Data cleansing: The business impact of dirty data
Look at the business impact of leaving less-than-ideal data in place to help you determine what data should be cleansed.

Is data mining reliable?
Data mining does not stand alone on its own merits within an organization, expert William McKnight advises.

Business intelligence (BI) and corporate performance management (CPM): What's the deal?
Learn about the possible convergence of BI and CPM, as well as the potential role of enterprise search.

Locating 'lost' external tables in a schema
Forgot what you named your external tables and what directory they are in? Have no fear, our expert tells you how to locate them!

Business intelligence jobs: Where are they?
Looking for business intelligence jobs? Read William McKnight's insight into the business intelligence job market.

Defining web business intelligence (WBI), data mining and data warehousing
William McKnight defines web intelligence (WI) -- often referred to as web business intelligence (WBI) -- and explains the differences between data mining and data warehousing.

What effect will Enterprise Search have on BI?
Analytics expert William McKnight weighs the effects of enterprise search on BI in the on-demand world.

Business intelligence software: Business Objects vs. SAS, Ralph Kimball vs. Bill Inmon
Learn about the differences between Business Objects' business intelligence software and SAS, and the debate between the Ralph Kimball and Bill Inmon approaches.

Tips for establishing a BI advisory board at a large corporation
Get advice on how to establish a BI advisory committee at a large corporation.

Reporting capabilities: Microsoft SQL Server 2005 vs. Cognos ReportNet
Get expert advice about BI reporting capabilties in Microsoft SQL Server and Cognos.

Customer data mining advantages: Mining customer data through airline mileage programs
Customer data mining is everywhere. And there are advantages. Our expert discusses the benefits of mining customer data through airline mileage programs.

Choosing business intelligence reporting tools
Choosing the right business intelligence reporting tools takes time and thought. Read what our analytics expert recommends for selecting BI reporting tools.

Career change: From data analyst to data architect
Our expert recommends enhancing your skill set to include data analysis/modeling to be more valuable in the work force.

Addressing technology reporting and performance problems in non-profit organization
Get advice on technology reporting and performance issues.

Roles and responsibilities for newly established MIS unit
Read advice on sorting out the roles and responsibilities of a MIS unit.

What to budget for BI infrastructure costs
Before budgeting BI infrastructure costs, make sure to answer these important clarifying questions.

The roles of data warehousing, data mining and OLAP in knowledge discovery
Learn about how data warehousing, data mining and OLAP play into knowledge discovery.

Data warehousing: To consolidate financials or not?
Learn how a data warehouse can allow a company to provide consolidated financials that are fed by both automated systems and manual intervention.

Complying with Sarbanes Oxley Act with business intelligence
According to our expert, Sarbanes Oxley is probably not number one on the BI agenda.

Help with justification of BI investments
William McKnight explains how to calculate ROI to justify a BI investment.

Star schema design for BI
A star schema design for BI involves more than you think. Before you design your star schema, read advice from data analytics expert, William McKnight.

ROI for BI
Business intelligence is generating impressive returns in a variety of industries--especially customer-focused marketing.

How is BI different from CRM?
William McKnight explains that business intelligence is a broad category that includes many uses of data, one of which is in pursuit of a CRM strategy.

Structured vs. unstructured data
Get McKnight's insight into when the vendors are going to focus on unstructured data.

Business intelligence tools: Choosing the right BI product
There are loads of business intelligence tools out there on the market today. Our business intelligence expert provides some valuable resources for choosing the right BI product.

Data warehouses - for BI or operational systems data?
Data warehouses do more than just store the data, according to William McKnight.

Enterprise information vs. business intelligence portals
Many enterprise portals acknowledge the importance of BI and have plug-ins for BI tools.

The role of OLAP in the interpretation of data
McKnight explains how dimensional analysis and OLAP are somewhat synonymous methods of browsing data.

 

Data warehousing advice and best practices

Examining different data access methods: OLAP and data mining
Learn about the different types of data access methods including OLAP and data mining, find out about using query languages to access data warehouses and SQL and OLAP's role in accessing data.

Data warehouse and business intelligence team reporting structure
Learn why data warehouse and business intelligence (DW/BI) team reporting structure matters, and find out who the DW/BI team should report to.

Data warehousing, data mining and data querying: Terms and definitions
William McKnight explains the difference between data warehousing, data mining and data querying.

Data warehouse development: Four strategic steps
Learn the basics of data warehouse development in four strategic steps, from expert William McKnight.

Accessing data from different systems: When ERP isn't enough
When data is stored in different transactional systems, data access can be compromised -- and ERP systems may not be enough. Our expert has a suggestion for how to get a singular view of the data.

Data architect careers: The benefits of working at a System Integrator
Working as a data architect at a consultancy or System Integrator can be challenging, but has benefits. Find out the career value of working at a System Integrator, as advised by William McKnight.

Career growth of a software developer
Career growth depends on how well you do your job, who you work for and the cost of replacing and outsourcing what you do.

Information architect: Career path, skills and experience
Learn about the career path of an information architect, as well as what type of experience is optimal for career development.

Data warehousing tools for industry-specific data warehouses
Learn the most important things to consider when selecting a data warehousing tool for an industry-specific data warehouse project.

Responsibilities of the information architect
Learn the core responsibilities of the information architect beyond the scope of the business intelligence (BI) team.

Business intelligence and data warehousing team structure
Business intelligence and data warehousing teams are constructed differently, but most are placed within the IT department and include some basic, common roles.

Defining web business intelligence (WBI), data mining and data warehousing
William McKnight defines web intelligence (WI) -- often referred to as web business intelligence (WBI) -- and explains the differences between data mining and data warehousing.

Data warehousing jobs: Using your database administrator experience
Our business intelligence expert explains how to maximize your DBA experience to land a data warehousing job.

Data warehouse management and design
When planning a data warehouse design, remember that a data warehouse must be consistently reliable so users can count on it to make better business decisions.

Career change: From data analyst to data architect
Our expert recommends enhancing your skill set to include data analysis/modeling to be more valuable in the work force.

Data warehouse architect: Essential technical skills
A data warehouse architect must be adept in a variety of technical skills, including data access, ETL and data management.

The roles of data warehousing, data mining and OLAP in knowledge discovery
Learn about how data warehousing, data mining and OLAP play into knowledge discovery.

Data warehousing hardware requirements
Get expert advice on data warehousing hardware requirements.

Data modeling: Entity relationship (E-R) vs. dimensional data models
Whether to use entity relationship (E-R) data modeling or dimensional data modeling techniques depends on the situation, says data warehouse expert William McKnight.

Data warehousing: To consolidate financials or not?
Learn how a data warehouse can allow a company to provide consolidated financials that are fed by both automated systems and manual intervention.

Relational vs. dimensional data marts
If you have a single data warehouse/mart, then you will likely have both relational and dimensional structures in it, says William McKnight.

Star schema design for BI
A star schema design for BI involves more than you think. Before you design your star schema, read advice from data warehouse expert, William McKnight.

Tackling multilevel organizational structures in the data warehouse
Learn the dimension for multilevel organizational structres in a data warehouse.

Corporate Information Factory (CIF) and data warehousing frameworks
Our expert recommends a "bottom-up" data warehouse methodology as an alternative to CIF.

Data warehouses - for BI or operational systems data?
Data warehouses do more than just store the data, according to William McKnight.

Oracle Star Schema data warehouse design tips
Get advice on Oracle Star Schema data warehouse design.

 

This was first published in February 2010

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