Browsing articles in "Blog"

Join #TeamData for the Portland Half Marathon

Jan 28, 2015   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Awesome, Blog, DLBlog, Fun  //  1 Comment

If you’ve been following me on Twitter (@datachick), you know I’ve been checking some races off my bucket list.  I apologize for all those tweets, by the way…but I also loved the fact that people could Tweet to me while I ran.  It’s so helpful to have people virtually cheering me on.

TeamDataBinaryI’ve made a commitment to run a race a month for 2015, so I’m going to be setting up “teams’ for the races that allow this.  The first one I’ve set up is for the Portland, Oregon half marathon.  This is a longer distance, I know, but I’ve run both the half and the full marathon and I can tell you they are excellent events.  There’s an 8-hour cut off for both races.  That means you have 8 hours to finish.  Since a half marathon is 13.1 miles, 8 hours means you can run, walk, stroll or whatever you want to do. In fact, 8 hours would give you time to stroll, have lunch and a nap during those 13+ miles/21+ kilometres.

Map picture

This race is known for its great crowd support, on-course music, excellent swag and great food after the race. Plus, it’s Portland. Food Trucks. Coffee. Donuts. The perfect race fuel.

Register to join us on 4 October 2015.  Registration for this race usually closes around the end of January, so you only have a couple of days to commit.

And if you can’t join us, remember you can still cheer us on.

Theory of Data…

Jan 13, 2015   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog  //  No Comments

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Join us at #SQLBits: Designing for Performance Training, with Video and Snark

Jan 6, 2015   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Database, Database Design, DLBlog, SQL Server  //  No Comments
At SQLBits

I’m excited to announce that Thomas LaRock (@sqlrockstar | blog) and I will be presenting a full-day Training Day (PreCon) at SQLBIts XIV in London, UK.

Our session, Designing For Performance: Myths and Misunderstandings, is going to feature hands-on labs, exercises and lots of challenges to help you master your own SQL Server superpowers. It will be held on Thursday, 5 March 2015. Registration is open NOW.

 


 

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Everyone agrees that great database performance starts with great database design. So why do so many poorly designed databases exist in the world? Attend this session to understand why bad designs will always exist, what you can do to avoid them, and how best to work with them when needed.
Discussion topics will include:

  • Server/Infrastructure design
    • VM/Server configuration
    • Physical file layouts
    • HA/DR options
    • Archiving
  • Database/Table design
    • Table design
    • PK/FK choices
    • Index strategies
  • Benchmarking
    • Monitoring for performance
    • Control reports

Attendees will leave this session with an understanding of the following:

  • Why common issues are so common
  • How to better anticipate issues before they happen 
  • How to deploy and implement design choices that benefit everyone
  • Proper performance benchmarking and control reports

 


SQLBits Superheroes

 

This will be my 3rd SQLBits conference,  They are a lot of fun and jam-packed full of learning and networking.  As you can see from the video above, Tom and I will also ensure that you aren’t just sitting through 8 hours of bullet points and sparse slides with funny pictures.  We’ll be talking about what design approaches work in what situations and all the myths and misunderstandings out there about database design and configurations.

Register now and engage your own superpowers. Or just stand there looking pretty.  It’s up to you.

Your #1 Job….

Jan 6, 2015   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Data Governance, Data Modeling, Database Design, DLBlog  //  3 Comments

Tim Berners-Le Quote on CEO connect data

I hear frequently, especially from the DBA groups, that our number one job as a data professional is performance.  That typically includes making sure database queries run fast, that systems have expected uptimes, and that developers/DBAs can do their jobs as fast as possible without slowing down to consider whether or not they are doing the right thing for the data. In fact, I’ve been told many times that data quality is Job NULL, meaning that we shouldn’t care as much about data quality as we do about performance.  The crazy things I’ve read: query running slow? Delete some rows and see if anyone notices.  Assign numeric datatypes to number-like columns so they will be smaller (and missing leading zeros).  Make columns small, even if it means losing data. Shove data in a column with comma delimiters so that you don’t have to change the database.  Re-use a column for something it was never intended for.

Developers and DBAs start thinking this way, for the most part, because they are measured and rewarded based on all kinds of factors other than data quality.  And yet management expects systems to support exactly what Tim Berners-Lee says in this quote.  Sure, making systems purr is one part of allowing data to be connected across sources.  But misleading data, mis-understoood data and plain old bad data means that CEOs can’t run a company effectively. 

Any enterprise CEO really ought to be able to ask a question that involves connecting data across the organization, be able to run a company effectively, and especially to be able to respond to unexpected events.

Most organizations are missing this ability to connect all the data together.

There are all kinds of presentations and blog posts about how to make systems run fast.  There are so few about how to love your data so that the CEO can rely on it. The first person that needs to fix this mismatch of incentives and actions is the CEO.  She needs to ensure that IT professionals are properly evaluated and motivated to produce both fast data and correct data.  And to stop providing incentives for IT professionals to work against data quality.

DBAs and Developers want to do the right thing. It’s just that we are paying them to do the wrong things over the right things.  

New Year’s Day…

Jan 1, 2015   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Fun, Professional Development  //  No Comments

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You could look at New Year’s Day as just another increment in a DATE column.  I won’t see it that way, but I’m not going to be doing anything spectacular either.  Likely I will be starting the year off doing something that I want to do most days of the year.  Run, read, tweet, share, chat. Probably not in that order, either.

Happy 2015. Thank you for being part of my day.

Think Days, not Years

Dec 31, 2014   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Careers, Data Modeling, Professional Development  //  No Comments

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In my presentations on how to make data models (and data modelers) more valuable, I talk about spending 15 minutes during your day, every day, doing something to improve the quality of the models.  Refining definitions (or adding missing ones), laying out a diagram so that it’s more clear, enhancing a diagram so that it’s better at communicating, etc.

The small things add up to big things when they are done every day.  If you put them off until you “have time”, they re never going to happen.

This 15-minutes a day works wonders for you, personally, too.  Imagine that if you had done something every day, for the last year, what you’d have now, 365 days later.  Learning a new word, doing some yoga, walking, watching a how-to video, writing to someone to thank them for something they did for you or for someone else…the possibilities are endless.

New Year’s resolutions are a great way for setting goals. But life happens right now.  Deliver on your resolutions one day at a time. Your data model will love it.  And so will you.

Let Our New Year’s Resolution Be This…

Dec 30, 2014   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Professional Development  //  No Comments

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No matter how many conflicts we have in what the world should be, how our projects should be run, or what tools we should use, we should be there for each other.

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