Data Warehouse Consultants Form BI Alliance

A gathering of experts from across the data warehousing architecture, BI Alliance (BIA, www.bialliance.com) was introduced at the DCI Data Warehouse Summit in Atlanta last month.

Individually, the consultants in the group have expertise in specific areas of data warehousing. But collectively, they will provide their clients with a much larger resource base. Some of these clients include Citibank, IBM Corp., Intel Corp. and McDonald's Corp.

"We want to provide people with this convenience of one place to go for all of the services our partners offer," says Douglas Hackney, president of Enterprise Group Ltd. (www.egltd.com) and founding member of the BI Alliance. "We are all individual consultancies and this gives us the critical mass we need to compete against system integration companies like Arthur Anderson."

Hackney explains that each firm on its own isn't capable of having the expertise in every facet of business intelligence. But if a company contacts the alliance, it will be matched with the consultancy in the alliance that best fits its needs. For instance, if a company contacts the alliance with a need for knowledge discovery, it would be put in touch with alliance member Herbert Edelstein, president of Two Crows Corp. (www.twocrows.com), a specialist in data mining. If a company is looking for advice on optimizing human capital, the alliance would put it in touch with David Foote, managing partner of Cromwell Foote Partners L.L.C. (www.cromwellfoote.com).

Although DCI served as the forum to announce the alliance, it was established in October. Since then, it's won large, multimillion dollar contracts being pursued by large consulting firms, such as Price Waterhouse Coopers and Oracle Consulting, according to Hackney. Those projects range from architected data marts to enterprise data warehouses.

Chris Morris, data warehouse architect at Western Health Advantage, a Sacramento-based health plan supported by three major hospital groups, is working with Hackney to implement virtual private networks (VPNs). These VPNs will be used by Western Health's clients to connect to its data warehouse. Morris says Hackney’s specific knowledge of the health care industry makes his implementation that much more useful. "My previous employers used Price Waterhouse Coopers and Arthur Anderson, and you just don't get down to the expertise level you need," Morris explains.

Other companies in the alliance include Sid Adelman & Associates (www.sidadelman.com), which specializes in planning and implementing data warehouses; Information Impact Int’l Inc. (www.infoimpact.com), which focuses on data quality; Archer Decision Sciences Inc. (www.archer-decision.com), which offers services related to decision support architecture and integration of information technology; and DataWing Consulting L.L.C. (www.datawing.com), which focuses on creating data warehouse solutions.