Monday, August 04, 2008

TDWI Membership, Is it worthwhile?

The primary organization in data warehousing is TDWI - The Data Warehouse Institute. Many of you might also be aware of PASS for SQL Server, or the Oracle User groups for Oracle. Today I want to talk about TDWI and get some feedback from you as to the value you find from your membership.

I was a TDWI member but am not currently. I attended two TWDI World Conferences in 2005 and 2006 and while I learned a lot at the first conference, the second was interesting but almost the same content. A lot of the comments I've heard from contats are that TDWI conferences often have the same courses time after time which is good for new attendees but not so good for repeat attendees. The biggest complaint I have about the conference was that my contact information was sold and I received about 20 phone calls per week for six months after the conference, and at least 1-2x a week for 2 years following my attendence.

Along with the membership comes access to reports and website information. There are some good case studies and other reports and I often receive emails requesting to fill out a survey about salaries and projects. One complaint I have about these surveys is that by filling it out, I give them information which they resell to others without receiving any information that helps me in my competitive situation. Most salary information is also given at salary.com. To be fair I have found some surveys to be worthwhile (companies starting projects, etc), but again not worth the $299 per year.

Now TDWI is trying to break out into forming user groups. My premonition is that their membership is declining and they are looking for more ways to reach out to the community (and more membership sales). The brilliant part of this strategy is that they get a huge networking community together and that definately has a lot of value for the membership.

In short, I think TDWI is useful and worthwhile to attend a conference every couple of years, but I'd like to hear and comments about the value you have received from your membership.

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