Yesterday evening I
attended our inaugural TDWI Boston Chapter meeting
hosted by Fidelity Investments. It was a very well attended meeting. In fact,
we had to change the meeting room because the registration response was double
what we were told to expect. Lucky for us, right out the door we had a great view
of Boston Harbor from a 14th floor
Two things made this a
great experience. First, our keynote speaker was Wayne W. Eckerson who is the
director of research and services for The Data
Warehousing Institute (TDWI). (Full disclosure: I am vice president of the
TDWI Boston chapter and have known
His topic was "BI
Maturity Model: Taking Your Data Warehouse to the Next Level." It was an
excellent topic to kick-off our chapter.
Wayne gave his insights on this topic
but, more importantly, encouraged the audience to provide feedback and share their
This brings us to the
second thing that made the chapter meeting interesting, the attendees were
terrific. It’s great that
it’s the attendees who can transform the presentation into a discussion…and
they did. It was great to hear many people relate their experiences and offer
their feedback. We had people from many companies, representing different
industries and with varied experience.
Regional user groups
(RUGs) are generally focused on specific software vendors and their products.
These are often a great forum to gain product-specific information and network
with peers who are using the same software. I highly encourage people’s participation
in these groups if their job role involves design, development or supporting
these products. In addition, architects, project managers and IT management
involved with these products also benefit from participating in these groups.
TDWI, due to its
tradition, is offering vendor-agnostic chapters where BI/DW professionals and IT
management can meet, learn, exchange ideas and network. This enables a more
holistic discussion of BI, DW and performance management issues than at a
vendor-specific RUG. But there are
significant benefits to participating in both
vendor-specific and a-vendor agnostic RUGs.
This is a little of a
rah-rah post, but I truly believe many people would benefit from participating
in these RUGS, whether it is TDWI or vendor-specific. TDWI meetings are free,
as are vendor-specific meetings (as long as you are a customer or partner, of