Browsing articles in "Data"

Imagining the Power of Data

Mar 12, 2015   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Analytics, Blog, Data, DLBlog  //  No Comments

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Tim Berners-Lee, in a 2007 Bloomberg Business interview, discusses his vision of enterprise data and how organizations would bring together varied sets of data.

“When you use the word “silos,” that’s the word we hear when somebody in the enterprise talks about the stovepipe problem. Different words for the same problem: that business information inside the company is managed by different sorts of software, and you have to go to a different person and learn a different program to see it. 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.

“Anybody making real decisions uses data from many sources, produced by many sorts of organizations, and we’re stymied. We tend to have to use backs of envelopes to do this and people have to put data in spreadsheets, which they painfully prepare. In a way, the Semantic Web is a bit like having all the databases out there as one big database. It’s difficult to imagine the power that you’re going to have when so many different sorts of data are available.”

Regardless of whether or not you are using Semantic technologies, I think you can see that we are making progress towards understanding that silo-ed data is still here and that we need ways to bring the power of external data together to make it useful.  New technologies & approaches such as analytics and machine learning require that we understand the data, its provenance and its freshness to get decent result.

Imagine the power. Indeed.

7 Databases in 70 Minutes

Mar 10, 2015   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Database, Database Design, DLBlog, NoSQL, Speaking  //  No Comments

Lara Rubbelke (@sqlgal ) and I recently presented 7 Databases in 70 Minutes, a sort of homage to the book 7 Databases in 7 Weeks.  The event was SQLBits, a UK-based SQL Server event.  We first gave this talk at the PASS Summit last year.

We don’t talk about the same databases as the book, but the concepts are the same.  We cover relational, column family, graph, key value, Hadoop, and document database technologies, focusing mostly on the reasons why you would want to consider these and what a typical create and query statement might look like.

And then we end with 7 reasons why you should start exploring them.

It’s a blast talking about so many things in such a short time frame and it’s fun watching light bulbs go off as people realize these aren’t just silly open source projects, but real, enterprise class solutions for common enterprise processes.

Check out our slide deck.

Have you been looking at non-relational technologies to tell your data stories, too?

Data Stories….

Feb 26, 2015   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Analytics, Blog, Data, Data Visualization  //  1 Comment

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I prefer to think of it is trying to decipher the stories data is already saying.  So more listening, less torture.

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.  

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.

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

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