President at McKnight Consulting Group; Strategy & Projects: Enterprise Data, Analytics, All Data Architecture, Maturity and Technology Selection; Author, Speaker, Educator
William McKnight is an internationally recognized authority in information management. His consulting work has included many of the Global 2000 and numerous midmarket companies. His clients have reaped tremendous ROI and turned data into a real corporate asset. Many have gone public with their success stories.
He is president of McKnight Consulting Group, which provides clients with action plans, architectures, strategies, complete programs, and vendor-neutral tool selection to manage information.
He is the author of the books “Integrating Hadoop”, “Information Management: Strategies for Gaining a Competitive Advantage with Data” and “90 Days to Success in Consulting”.
An Ernst&Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist and frequent best-practices judge, William is a former Fortune 50 technology executive and database engineer. William has taught at Santa Clara University, UC-Berkeley, and UC-Santa Cruz.
What attracted you to data management or IT, and why did you choose to pursue this career?
I have to go way back to high school and the advent of computers. I was fascinated by them and would stay after school to write games, etc. A teacher said I would be foolish not to get into the field so I pursued a Computer Science Degree. My first job out of university was at IBM. They gave me the choice of four technologies to work in. I didn’t know the differences but lucked out when I chose “DB2” because it sounded cool.
What has been your greatest career accomplishment so far, and why has it been important to your career?
Just really attaining my first few consulting clients who trusted me to consult to them.
What are the two or three biggest challenges you face as a data management professional / CDO and how can we address them?
- Preparation of data for artificial intelligence
- Keeping the huge demand for data services operating within an architecture.
How do you see data management / the role of the CDO / IT changing in the next 2 – 3 years?
- More AI
- More Edge computing
- More containerization
- More data catalogs
Do you have any planned next steps for your career?
Continue to win the trust of organizations striving to mature their data environments for business gain.
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?
Don’t compare yourself to others. Compare your accomplishments to your own aspirations.
Can you share something about yourself as a person that people wouldn’t know about you?
I’m a fitness and sports freak. I’m the current national champion in my age group in Hyrox Pro, the world championship of fitness.
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