Browsing articles from "October, 2011"

Speaking: DAMA Day Nebraska (Omaha) 3 November – Data Modeling Contentious Issues

Oct 24, 2011   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Data, Speaking  //  No Comments

Contentious Issues Post Its


The final stop on my DAMA speaking tour is DAMA Nebraska for their DAMA Day. 

Data Modeling Contentious Issues
A highly interactive and popular session where attendees evaluate the options and best practices of common and advanced data modeling issues, such as:

  • Party/party role
  • Natural vs. surrogate keys
  • Class Models vs. Data Models
  • SOAs, Ontologies, ESBs, New TLAs and Shoe Strings
  • What is Logical? What is Physical? Why Do We Care?
  • Politics vs. Customer Satisfaction

Participants in this session will be presented with an issue along with a range of responses or possible solutions. Participants will vote on their preferred response, then the group as a whole will discuss the results, along with the merits of each possible response. If the specific issue has been discussed in other presentations, a summary of the responses of the other groups will be presented. The goal of this workshop is to help practitioners identify potential points of conflict in data modeling, as well as alternative approaches to resolving the issues.

This DAMA Day is sponsored by Embarcadero and they will be making a presentation as well.  Registration is requested.

Speaking: DAMA Chicago 19 October – Data Management: The Straw Poll

Oct 4, 2011   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Data, Project Management, Speaking  //  No Comments

Chicago "bean"

The next stop on my DAMA Speaking Tour will be DAMA Chicago on 19 October, where I’ll be presenting on:

Data Management: The Straw Poll

As DAMA heads into its 4th decade, the data management profession works on refining existing approaches, plans for new ones, and investigates emerging topics.  In this session, we will discuss the priorities, roles, and benefits of past, current and new technologies, tools, methods, and patterns.

This highly interactive discussion will measure and record the opinions of the local data management profession.  Topics will cover the enterprise architecture, data architecture, application development, information sharing, project politics,  master data management, data quality  and silver bullet specializations…and more.

Bring your opinions, insights, long-held beliefs and personal experiences.


This is a brand new presentation and will follow a format similar to my Data Modeling Contentious Issues presentation, but we will be talking about Data Management as a whole, not specific data modeling issues.  So come join us.

Meeting location: Discover, 2500 Lake Cook Road, Riverwoods, IL 60015-1838 (which is between Deerfield and Northbrook).

Speaking: DAMA IA (Des Moines) Oct 18 – 10 Database Design Blunders

Oct 4, 2011   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Database, Speaking  //  No Comments

My next stop on the DAMA chapter speaking tour is Des Moines DAMA Chapter, where I’ll be presenting on 18 October.


10 Database Design Blunders

What’s going on in your physical data model? How many people can or will update it to match the reality of what’s going on in your databases? Who decides what goes into the physical model?

In this presentation we discuss 10 physical data modeling mistakes that cost you dearly. Will your physical design lead to performance snags, development delays, bugs and weakening of professional respect?
Data Architects are often tasked to prepare first cut physical data models, yet these skills usually overlap those of DBAs and Developers and this overlap can lead to contention, confusion, and complacency. With this presentation, you’ll learn about the 10 blunders, how to find them, plus 10 tips on how to avoid them.

More information should be available on their website soon about the location and timing.

Speaking: DAMA MN (Minneapolis) 17 October – Career Success in Turbulent Times + More

Oct 4, 2011   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Data Modeling, Speaking  //  1 Comment


The next few weeks are going to be busy for me: I’m speaking at SQLSaturday Oregon (Portland) and then at the PASS Summit in Seattle.  Right after that I’m headed on DAMA chapter speaking tour.  First up on that tour is DAMA MN on Monday, 17 October 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM where I’ll be presenting:

Career Success in Data Management in Turbulent Times

A workshop on issues and ideas that today’s data architects and modelers can do to build their careers and networking skills with other data management professionals.

Workshop topics will include:
• Demonstrating your expertise
• Building a portfolio of your success stories
• Getting others to sell your skills and business value
• Building & extending your data management skill set
• 10 Steps to highlighting you and your work

Bring your thoughts, ideas, and experiences.

You’ve Just Inherited a Data Model:  Now What?

The good news is that someone else has done the hard work of architecting a data model and you just have to take on minor maintenance…or is that the bad news? Or have you been tasked with implementing a pattern or industry standard data model? Perhaps a team member has sent the world’s best resignation letter and won’t be helping you with the model. Learn the 5 steps you MUST take before working with a new data model.

Attendees will also receive a detailed checklist for the 5 steps.

Details about the event are provided on the DAMA MN webpage.  I hope to see you there.

Rant: Worst Way to Be Asked to Help? With No Details and No Responses #mememonday

Oct 3, 2011   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog  //  4 Comments

Tom LaRock (blog|Twitter) posted his MemeMonday call to share stories via blog posts and he asks:

What is the worst way you have ever had someone ask you for help?

The ones that stick out to me are the times where we would get a cryptic email, the subject line would say “our batch failed” and the text of the email would say “Please fix.”

I have to say that my experiences are right up there with Tom’s.  I happen to do volunteer support of some web applications and databases that are used by IT professionals to collaborate on a long-time multi-vendor, global project.  Even though the users are IT professionals, they often assume that there’s some magic that lets me understand what’s going on, what problem they are having, and just get it fixed.

For instance, I’ll get e-mails that look a lot like:

  • The website isn’t working and I need to get some work done.  Fix it.
    Which website?  What isn’t working?  What are you trying to do?
  • I couldn’t get it work, so I’m emailing it.
    What is "it"?  What is this file you attached?  What are you expecting everyone to do with it?
  • I tried to get it to work for several weeks, then gave up.
    What is "it"? Why did you waste weeks before asking for help?
  • [in status meeting] I don’t know how to use that site, so I didn’t use it and didn’t get my committed to work done for the last month.
    What?  You waited until the monthly status meeting to raise this issue?  What did you try? Whom did you ask for help?  Did you watch the video we prepared on how to use it? Why do you think this is a good way to work?

We IT pros like to gripe about end users and how they don’t even try to use the technology, but I have to say based on my experience too many of us are doing the same things.

So I like to remind everyone, even IT professionals, that requests for help should include:

  1. Real nouns and virtually no pronouns.  "It" is especially troublesome in help requests.
  2. A summary of what you need help with, right at the top.
  3. A description, with details, of what you are trying to do, how you tried to do it, what you are using to do it and error messages/numbers you are seeing. Screenshots get bonus points. Names of servers, URLs, accounts (no passwords, please), databases, tools, browsers, etc. are going to get you help faster.
  4. A recognition that the recipient, unless they work at a help desk/support org, probably needs to make room in her schedule to help.
  5. Information about what your priority/deadlines are.
  6. Screenshots, again, are wonderful.

If you claimed it will be the end of the world unless a solution is provided ASAP, it’s helpful if you respond to questions and requests for information ASAP. It’s also helpful if you copied the world when you send your request that you follow up once a solution has been provided with a copy-the-world response that says that. Thanks get bonus points, too.

< /rant>

Have a day.

Subscribe via E-mail

Use the link below to receive posts via e-mail. Unsubscribe at any time. Subscribe to by Email



UA-52726617-1 Secured By miniOrange