Saturday, March 09, 2002

A Place for Everything, and Everything in its Place. Yesterday I made my debut by posting a short entry in Postcards from the Revolution to add to Mike's earlier discussions that touched upon knowledge management. Since this weblog is the one Mike and Linda intended as a diary into which interesting documents and links were to go, I am going to use this for its intended purpose.

Data Management. I am not an IT professional. I am, however, a knowledgeable (and demanding) user of IT services and have a keen appreciation of the tools that are made available by technology. The adage that a craftsperson knows their tools is applicable. I first want to share a collection of documents that introduce databases and data warehouses to any reader who does not routinely work with either (i.e., network support, technical writers and others in IT who know only the bare fundamentals). The first set of documents is in a Zip archive that contains four PowerPoint presentations that introduce database and data warehouses at a basic level.

The next document is a data mining tutorial, which will lay the groundwork for a more in-depth set of PowerPoint presentations about data mining and online analytical processing, which is a business intelligence specialist's most powerful tool set.

For the more technically inclined I've put together a collection of PowerPoint presentations about modeling and schemas that cover the basics, and discuss star vs. snowflake schemas, and get deeper into multidimensional databases.

General Interest. I have more to share than database-centric documents. One of the better presentations I've read lately is Building Business Intelligence Systems, which is an excellent overview of the issues you need to explore. Be aware that this presentation was designed to showcase a specific vendor product, but that does not diminish the value of the message and information in the first seventy-five percent of the document.

Another vendor-specific document that contains excellent information that can be applied in a vendor-neutral environment is eContent Management. Not all data is neatly housed in a data structure, and the overview of challenges that is provided in this presentation is invaluable.

Some Things Just Don't Fit. In parting I want to share three documents that do not fit the theme of this entry:

  1. eLearning Standards, which is surprising because the document was put together by Cisco, which most of us associate with networking and routers. A little research revealed much about Cisco, such as the company has a sophisticated customer relationship management approach, and is heavily involved in distance learning and other initiatives.
  2. On Enterprise Integration is more slanted towards Mike's Zachman Framework theme in Postcards from the Revolution, but with a little imagination and vision you can see how the data mining and OLAP topics I addressed above relate to this PowerPoint presentation. It's all the more valuable if you're an architect who is visualizing a big picture that includes business intelligence, CRM and knowledge management.
  3. I included Overview of the Internet and Data as a "101" presentation you may find useful as a tool for educating your end users.
Parting Note. If your interests are more focused on information warfare than competitive intelligence you should visit the Information Warfare page that Mike and Linda created. This page is on their IT Security site and covers the darker side of information intelligence in depth. My favorite link from that page is Robert D. Steele's OSS Net Whitepaper collection. Mr. Steele is also one of my favorite Amazon reviewers. I'm currently reading The Ends of the Earth by Robert Kaplan because of Mr. Steele's insightful 12 July 2001 review of this fascinating book.

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