Published Articles

March 5, 2007

The Trial-and-Error Method for Data Integration

In The Trial-and-Error Method for Data Architecture I discussed some common data architecture mistakes. In this article, I point out areas where companies tend to go wrong in […]
January 18, 2007

The Trial-and-Error Method for Data Architecture

As a coach of my sons’ soccer teams, I’ve noticed something that occasionally holds back the ambitious players. Rather than focusing on basics, such as learning […]
January 17, 2007

Marketing BI Solutions to the Business

Technical people often think that delivering great solutions is the key to satisfying business users. It is not. Delivering the solution users want is the key. […]
January 16, 2007

Communication Breakdown: The Achilles’ Heel of BI Projects

What we’ve got here is failure to communicate. – Captain in the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke What is the most likely cause of failed business […]
January 12, 2007

BI appliances: Disruptive technology or distraction?

Data warehousing (DW) appliances aren’t the only hardware appliances shaking up the industry. New on the scene are business intelligence (BI) appliances, which also have the […]
October 12, 2006

Data warehouse appliances: Are they market breakers?

Data warehousing (DW) appliances are being touted as potential market changing technology by technology and financial analysts alike. Vendors say these bundles of hardware and software […]
September 5, 2006

Operational BI – Blurring the Lines

Before operational business intelligence (BI) came on the scene, classifying BI applications was simple: enterprise applications and BI/DW activities were clearly separate domains with their own […]
July 14, 2006

Should You Wait for Data Quality?

A couple of IT managers recently approached me with a thorny issue. The key business sponsor for their data warehousing effort asked them if they should […]
July 11, 2006

Why Data Governance Projects Fail

Are data governance projects doomed? According to the article  “Data governance requires checks and balances, Gartner says,” a recent Gartner study predicts that “by 2008, less than […]
June 12, 2006

Data Shadow Systems Today, CPM Tomorrow

Earlier this year, at the 2006 Gartner Business Intelligence Conference, I heard a market prediction that made me wonder if industry-watchers are focusing too far into the […]
June 2, 2006

The Role of Data Integration in Providing Trusted Information

How trustworthy is the data that you provide? Not very, if it has quality problems. Data quality is one of the biggest roadblocks to trusting corporate […]
May 11, 2006

Data governance success: No pain, no gain

Does this sound familiar? Your business users are complaining that they constantly have to debate and reconcile the numbers in different reports. They complain that the […]
May 10, 2006

The Data Shadow System Conundrum

As Martha Stewart would say, getting information into the hands of business users is a “good thing.” Every enterprise needs to provide accurate, timely information for […]
April 14, 2006

It’s All About the Data

If you work in IT, you better like alphabet soup: master data management (MDM); customer data integration (CDI); corporate performance management (CPM); business intelligence (BI); enterprise […]
March 12, 2006

BI systems: Data shadow systems pros and cons

Business groups are empowered by knowledge — and knowledge comes, in part, from having access to accurate and timely information. It is generally up to IT […]
February 12, 2006

Clear Communication – The Foundation for Successful Business Metadata Projects

In Align Metadata and Business Initiatives, we discussed the two types of metadata: technical and business. The fact that there are two metadata types may be old […]
February 10, 2006

Be Prepared to Duel with Data Quality

Plenty of business intelligence (BI) or data warehouse projects have been blindsided by complications related to data quality. Sometimes these issues aren’t apparent until business users […]
January 12, 2006

Align Metadata and Business Initiatives

You don’t often hear “metadata management” and “business initiatives” in the same sentence. It’s time for that to change. Metadata management is the secret ingredient that […]
January 12, 2006

Technology can only solve part of the integration mystery

Each week millions of people watch the TV series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation or one of its offspring, CSI: NY and CSI: Miami. The premise of […]
November 12, 2005

The Enterprise Data Warehouse Strikes Again, Part II

As we discussed in my previous column, big data warehouses are back in style. In a 2004 TDWI study, 60 percent of respondents indicated that they were adopting […]
November 12, 2005

The Enterprise Data Warehouse Strikes Again, Part 1

Just like boot-cut jeans and fuel-efficient cars, big data warehouses are coming back in style.  Take a trip down memory lane, when IBM introduced the corporate […]
October 12, 2005

Extreme makeover: Data warehouse edition

Our high-tech culture suffers from a not-invented-here syndrome. If we weren’t the masterminds behind a project, we think it can’t possibly be a good one. When […]
September 29, 2005

Training? We don’t need no stinkin’ training …

While data warehousing technologies and methodologies have evolved over the years, ideologies, in many cases, have not. Taking a narrow-minded approach to your data warehousing strategy […]
August 12, 2005

Do People Really Understand Data Warehousing?

It’s been 20 years since the term “data warehousing” was first coined. Since then, it has evolved into a mainstream activity for Fortune 1000 companies, with […]
June 12, 2005

ODS Redux, Part 2

In part 1 of this article we discussed the ugly duckling called an operational data store (ODS). Rather than discussing the conventional wisdom and, quite frankly, the […]
June 12, 2005

ODS Redux, Part 1

What do you call that thing that’s holding your data? Don’t know? Then it must be an operational data store (ODS). No term has been muddied […]
May 12, 2005

Hub-and-Spoke Redux

Religious wars. We have them in IT all the time. Everyone debates architecture. The “high priests” of our trade guard it. The approaches espoused by Ralph […]
April 28, 2005

Microsoft Excel: The king of BI

The current king of business intelligence (BI) tools is Microsoft Excel. Microsoft states that there are over 150 million Excel users, with many of them using […]
April 12, 2005

Mitigating Meta Data Misery

The thought of meta data management doesn’t exactly inspire whoops of joy from the average IT manager. However, like flossing, it’s one of those things you’ve […]
March 12, 2005

Data Franchising

If you’re trying to architect or build a cost-effective, productive business intelligence (BI) program, it’s important that you thoroughly understand the data franchising component of the […]
December 12, 2004

Data Integration Depends on Vigilant Data Modeling

Key components of the data integration framework (DIF) are the software tools used to create, deploy and maintain it. This month, we discuss tools used for […]
October 12, 2004

Data Standards

  Data standards ensure the consistency, accuracy, integrity and validity that are critical to your success. Data is not usually clean and consistent, especially when gathered […]
September 12, 2004

Implementing a Data Integration Center of Expertise

In my earlier column “Do You Need a Data Integration Center of Expertise?,” I discussed these key points: You need to integrate data, not just create another version of […]
August 12, 2004

The Impact of New BI Trends on Data Integration

This month, we explore the impact of several business intelligence (BI) trends on data integration. These trends include: business (or corporate) performance management (BPM or CPM), […]
July 13, 2004

Do You Need a Data Integration Center of Expertise (DICE)?

Reining in the proliferation of expensive, redundant data silos requires a methodical approach that includes establishing a data integration center of expertise. In their quest for […]