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 vantage point.
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 own experiences.
This brings us to the
second thing that made the chapter meeting interesting, the attendees were
terrific. It’s great that
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 course.)