Affiliated with:

Bill Inmon

Bill Inmon

Founder, Chairman, CEO, Best-Selling Author, University of Denver & Scalefree Advisory Board Member

Best known as the “Father of Data Warehousing”, Bill Inmon has become the most prolific and well-known author worldwide in the big data analysis, data warehousing and business intelligence arena. In addition to authoring more than 60 books and 1,000s of articles, Bill has been a monthly columnist with the Business Intelligence Network, EIM Institute and Data Management Review. In 2007, Bill was named by Computerworld as one of the “Ten IT People Who Mattered in the Last 40 Years” of the computer profession.

What attracted you to data management or IT, and why did you choose to pursue this career?

I started as a professional golfer. When I discovered that I was not as good a golfer as I thought I was, I looked for a job. In 1967 there weren’t many people who could program. So, I got a job as a programmer. From there I found data management to be fascinating.

What has been your greatest career accomplishment so far, and why has it been important to your career?

I started data warehousing and I started textual ETL. Both architectural achievements have and will have an enduring impact on our world.

What are the two or three biggest challenges you face as a data management professional / CDO and how can we address them?

I am an architect. The world does not understand what data architects do or their value to the world. It is my job to educate the world as to the value of data architecture.

How do you see data management / the role of the CDO / IT changing in the next 2 – 3 years?

The world of data management is still in its infancy. It is like the pilgrims discovering the New World. As interesting as Jamestown was, they had no idea about the Rocky Mountains, the plains of Kansas, the Mississippi river, the gold fields of California, the canyons of Utah. Discovering Virginia was not even the tip of the tip of the tip of the iceberg. That is where data management is today.

Do you have any planned next steps for your career?

To bring textual ETL to every business in the world, because they need it badly and don’t even know it. Then, I am going to retire and go fishing in some warm climate.

What is the single best piece of advice you have received in your data management / IT career so far?  Why has it been so important to you?

The people that succeed are team players and people that want to build on the shoulders of those who preceded them. The people that have a short lifespan are those lone wolves that think that the profession is just about them. And that they are the only person who has ever had innovative thoughts.

Can you share something about yourself as a person that people wouldn’t know about you?

I once (accidently) caught a fish that made the world record books. It has since been surpassed, and I didn’t even realize the significance when we pulled the fish out of the ocean. I thought it was just another pretty fish from out of the water.

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