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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.

I Hope That in This Year to Come, You Make Mistakes

Dec 29, 2014   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Careers, DLBlog, Professional Development  //  1 Comment

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And if your company or your boss thinks you should never make any mistakes, you might consider looking for new opportunities.

Yeah My Mama She Told Me Don’t Worry About Your JOINs

Dec 5, 2014   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Awesome, Blog, Data, Fun, NoSQL, Parody, Snark, WTF  //  1 Comment

BarbieBoutTheDataMed

(with apologies to Meghan Trainor)

Because you know
I’m all about the data
‘Bout the data, no trouble
I’m all about the data
‘Bout the data, no trouble
I’m all about the data
‘Bout the data, no trouble
I’m all about the data
‘Bout the data

Yeah, it’s pretty clear, I ain’t NoSQL
But I can love it, love it
Like I’m supposed to do
‘Cause I still got zoom zoom that in the database
With all the right facts in all the right places

I see the newbies are workin’ that drawing slop
We know that shit ain’t real
C’mon now, make it stop
If you got data models, just raise ’em up
‘Cause a Zachman Framework is perfect
From the bottom to the top

Yeah, my mama she told me don’t worry about your joins
She says, “Data likes a little quality to keep it right.”
You know I won’t be no schemafree denormal Barbie doll
So if that’s what you’re into then go ahead and move along

Because you know I’m
All about the data
‘Bout the data, no trouble
I’m all about the data
‘Bout the data, no trouble
I’m all about the data
‘Bout the data, no trouble
I’m all about the data
‘Bout the data
Hey!

BarbieIT

I’m bringing quality facts
Go ahead and tell polyschematics that
Normalized data, I know you think it’s slow
But I’m here to tell ya
Transactional data’s perfect from the bottom to the top

Yeah my mama she told me don’t worry about your joins
She says, “Data likes a little quality to keep it right.”
You know I won’t be no schemafree denormal Barbie doll
If eventual consistency’s your thing then move along

Because you know I’m
All about the data
‘Bout the data, no trouble
I’m all about the data
‘Bout the data, no trouble
I’m all about the data
‘Bout the data, no trouble
I’m all about the data
‘Bout the data

Because you know I’m
All about the data
‘Bout the data, no trouble
I’m all about the data
‘Bout the data, no trouble
I’m all about the data
‘Bout the data, no trouble
I’m all about the data
‘Bout the data

Because you know I’m
All about the data
‘Bout the data, no trouble
I’m all about the data
‘Bout the data, no trouble
I’m all about the data
‘Bout the data, no trouble
I’m all about the data
‘Bout the data
‘Bout the data, ’bout the data
Hey, hey, ooh
You know you love the data

Barbie 2010-12-30 002

I’m all ‘bout the data…

Dec 5, 2014   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Data, Data Governance, Fun, Parody, Snark  //  No Comments

AllAboutTheData

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