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People are getting more and more uncomfortable about the quality and quantity of a lot of self-styled data warehousing and business intelligence professionals – organizations and individuals. The perceived and increasing degradation of professionalism and integrity in my own areas of specialization, also finds echo in other aspects of Information and Communication Technology practice, but for now that is outside the scope of this piece.

The issues that I think need addressing are:

1. Why do some organizations take on Data Warehouse or Business Intelligence development contracts, when they are clearly ill-equipped to take on such endeavours and have little or no satisfactory experience in the field?
2. Why do some organizations make alarmingly huge and false claims about the depth and breadth of their experience and knowledge in the field of data warehousing?
3. Why do some organizations put forward “consultants” as their data warehouse experts, when these self-same ‘consultants’ barely have a clue about what data warehousing is about?
4. Why do some people consent to being touted around as professional consultants in the field of data warehousing, when clearly they are not?
5. Why do some people consider themselves professional consultants in the field of data warehousing, when clearly they are not?
6. The contribution to a fundamental lack of professionalism (including integrity and honesty) to the failures of data warehouse and business intelligence projects.
7. The contribution of professional malpractice to the business world’s view of data warehousing and business intelligence and the companies and individuals involved in these “fields”.

The problems with all of the above, is not that these organizations and individuals are doing what they do, the problem is the impact it is having on highly professional individuals and organizations:

1. Companies stung by data warehousing scams, tend to blame data warehousing, rather than the cowboys they hired to provide them with a data warehousing process.
2. The bad reputation created by lies, shoddy work and lack of professionalism can hit everyone, not just the guilty.
3. Some large organizations can buy or bluff their ways out of failure, disgrace and malpractice; small professional organizations are more prone to systemic damning of their chosen line of business.


1. The industry should have a professional body for accrediting data warehouse and business intelligence service providers.
2. The industry organization should be empowered to investigate potential malpractice in the profession, and to apply sanctions as appropriate.
3. This industry organization should have the teeth to name and shame cowboys in the profession – so that they either shape up, or ship out.

What do you think about the perception of a growing lack of professionalism in data warehousing and business intelligence projects and practice?

Many thanks for reading.

File under: Good Strat, Good Strategy, Martyn Richard Jones, Martyn Jones, Cambriano Energy, Iniciativa Consulting, Iniciativa para Data Warehouse, Tiki Taka Pro