Big data and NoSQL have led to big changes In the data environment, but are they all in the best interest of data? Are they technologies that "free us from the harsh limitations of relational databases?" as I recently blogged about at Dataversity.net?
In this month’s webinar (register now), we will be answering questions like these, plus:
- Have we managed to free organizations from having to do data modeling?
- Is there a need for a data modeler on NoSQL projects?
- If we build data models, which types will work?
- If we build data models, how will they be used?
- If we build data models, when will they be used?
- Who will use data models?
- Where does data quality happen?
- Are there NoSQL technologies for which data modeling will never apply?
Finally, we will wrap with 10 tips for data modelers in organizations incorporating NoSQL in their modern data architectures.
Join NoSQL expert extraordinaire Dan McCreary ( blog ) and others (including YOU!) as we talk about the future of data modeling and data modelers this Thursday, 26 June, at 2PM EDT.
We’ll also have some prizes to give a way, so plan on attending live.
(BTW, don’t get me started on the lame modeling styles/naming standards in stock photography. Maybe I should start making some for Getty Images?)
22 May 2014, 2PM EDT
It’s May, which sets this former Hoosier thinking of racetracks and Indy cars. I’m also a runner and that means I’m always thinking about pace and timings…and feeling guilty about not training hard enough.
This got me musing about how data modelers can speed up the data modeling process — not just during a development projects, but at all points in our work day. So let’s have a discussion about
In this month’s webinar, we’ll talk about:
- The Need for Speed
- Sprints, marathons and training
- Race cars, horses, carts, and feet
- Qualifiers and Races
- Pace cars
- Backseat drivers
- Rules, tickets and enforcement
- Fads, gadgets and automation
- Red, yellow, green and checkered flags
- How do you know when to stop racing?
Joining me in the discussion will be two wonderful panellists:
Donna Burbank, VP, Information Management Services at Enterprise Architects ( @donnaburbank )
Carol Lehn, MDM Database Designer at PepsiCo ( @lehnca )
And as usual, our attendees will have the opportunity to participate via chat and Q&A as our final panellist.
Join me and an excellent panel of industry experts in discussing the state of Data Modeling Governance. No, not Data Governance, but Data Modeling Governance. This free webinar is Thursday, 23 May at 2 PM EDT. While the formal part starts at 2 PM, you are free to join us 15 minutes before as we prepare for the event. You can even post your Data Modeling Governance questions then so that we can answer them
We data architects spend a great deal of time advocating for organizations to treat their data as an asset. We champion the efforts to set up stewardship programs and data governance councils. We insist that data conform to enterprise naming and modeling standards. We enforce data policies, measure data quality, report deficiencies and track anomalies. But do we follow our own advice when it comes to managing “our” data – metadata and data models?
In this webinar, we’ll be tackling the questions of:
- Do you have budget (money and time) to govern the data modeling environment?
- How can we get the resources we need to properly govern our data models?
- Who sets permissions and manages them?
- When does data modeling by email work?
- Are data modeling artefacts part of the production systems operations?
- Are there multiple data modeling tools in your environment? For the right reasons?
- Are we loving our data models as much as our data?
- …plus more.
My panellists this week have a great deal of experience in working on a variety of enterprise environments:
- Anne Marie Smith, Ph.D. is an Information Management professional and consultant with broad experience across industries. She has exceptional, demonstrated skills in business requirements gathering and analysis, data governance and stewardship, data architecture, data and process modeling, strategic data management, meta data management, data quality management, master data management, data warehouse planning and design, project management, and information systems methodology development.
- David Loshin is the President of Knowledge Integrity, Inc, (www.knowledge-integrity.com), a consulting company focusing on customized information management solutions including information quality consulting and training, business intelligence, metadata, and data standards management. David is among Knowledge Integrity’s recognized experts in information management.
- Pete Stiglich is a Senior Healthcare Data Architect at Perficient. He has over 25 years IT experience having worked in Enterprise Data Architecture, Data Management, Data Modeling (Conceptual, Logical, Physical, Dimensional, Data Vault, EDW), Data Quality, DW/BI, MDM, Metadata Management, Data Quality, and Database Administration (DBA)
- You! I always consider the audience as the first panellist in a webinar. We have a open, engaging webinar configuration where attendees can chat with each other and ask questions to the panel.
You’ll need to pre-register, but it’s fast and free. Bring your questions, comments, snark and observations. See you Thursday.
Oh, and if you are late reading this and the webinar has already happened: no worries. We record every event and post it to the Dataversity website. You’ll miss all the great chatter in the chat room, though.
During this month’s Big Challenges in Data Modeling we’ll be talking about the state of data modeling.
Data modeling is dead. It is a product of an era that has passed; that of corporate silos that created their own versions of software to suit their own needs.
That is no longer the world in which we live. That era was one that had high costs associated with building and maintaining a database of customers.
Today’s era is one where you can subscribe to Salesforce.com for just a few dollars a day. You can decide for yourself to run a new report. How much did that same report cost in the old era? How long would it take for IT to deliver that report? That’s why businesses today are using such services, because it reduces time and costs.
You need to read the whole post to get his position, but I find that his take on the state of data modeling is common in the IT world. I posted a link to his blog post to a LinkedIn group and there was an extensive discussion.
I’ve invited Tom to join a real-world data architect and me to talk the current state of data modeling and what the future holds for data architects.
This Month’s Panelists
- Thomas LaRock is a seasoned IT professional with over a decade of technical and management experience. Currently serving as a Technical Evangelist for Confio Software, Thomas has progressed through several roles in his career including programmer, analyst, and DBA. Thomas holds a MS degree in Mathematics from Washington State University and is a member of the Usability Professional’s Association. Thomas currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) and is a SQL Server MCM as well as MVP. Thomas can also be found blogging at http://thomaslarock.com and is the author of DBA Survivor: Become a Rock Star DBA (http://dbasurvivor.com).
- Gabriel Tanase is a Data Architect currently with a mid-size business consulting organization. He has accumulated some tough years of ordinary real-life data modeling experience and the not-unheard-of distinction of having taught it academically before really practicing. He is currently specializing in keeping everybody else in the project happy while quietly enforcing information meaning and integrity.
This webinar is free to attend, but you must register. It officially starts at 2PM EST, but you can join us at 1:45 when we start our prep. We’ll be taking questions via the Q&A and we offer a real time chat so that you can be part of the conversation, too.
As I called for last week, this is my #failfriday blog post. I’ve made so many mistakes, it was difficult to pick one. There was the time I did a quick spellcheck of a letter to a key client and managed to change his name to Murderer, as in Dear Murderer. Those were good times. Then there was the time I generated and printed about 1000 graphs for evidence in a court case and managed to screw up the last data point on every single one of them. This was an instance of an off-by-one error. So they all had to be redone on a pen plotter. That takes days….and lots of pens.
Of course, I’ve had many of the #fails that most people shared on Twitter: Running a script or command in the wrong location, usually the wrong server or directory, and wiping out data that had not been backed up. I have a feeling this is a requirement to become a professional: this fail changes you for the rest of your career.
I decided to pick a trivial fail, but one that showed the dangers of being a data architect.
Strawberry Fields Forever
In Ottawa I lived near a strawberry farm. How wonderful it was to have fresh strawberries, picked minutes before, for several weeks. One night I was driving back from the city and stopped by the farm to see if they had any for sale. I remember I was wearing a suit, heels, the whole business chick outfit. Not really strawberry picking attire. So I was on a mission to get berries that had been picked by other people. You could buy strawberries two different ways:
- Pick Your Own: Basically the farm gave you trays and you picked your own and paid the cheapest rate. Because carrying trays was hard work, people would fill the trays, then bring them to sales hut to hold them. Then the pickers paid for all of them at once.
- Already Picked: Local kids would pick the berries and bring them to the sales hut and get paid for picking them. Buyers like me paid a premium for having the hard part done for us already. However, if you got there late in the day, like I did, the chance of finding these was rare.
So this was my plan: buy a flat of “already picked” berries. That was my category, remember. Not “Pick Your Own” but “Already Picked”. See, I was thinking like a data architect. Those were 2 subtypes of STRAWBERRY: ALREADY PICKED STRAWBERRY and PICK YOUR OWN STRAWBERRY.
So I waltzed up in my blue power suit, looked at the shelves in the sales hut and saw many flats of berries and asked the bored teenage sales girl “Are those strawberries already picked?”
Are those strawberries already picked?
….I’ll let you guess what happened next. If you picked “laughter, eye rolling and general snickering”, you’d be spot on. See, it turns out that the sales girl didn’t live in a land of data architecture, where everything is categorized, sorted and taxonomized to the 9th degree. She lived in the real world, that place where strawberries are either still on a plant or not.
I learned my lesson that day. Data architects sound funny outside their normal habitat, those whiteboard-shrouded conference rooms where data is managed. And sometimes we sound really silly in the real world. We need to remember that.
Database Design Contentious Issues
A highly interactive and popular session where attendees evaluate the options and best practices of common and advanced design issues, such as:
* Natural vs. Surrogate keys
* Classwords and other Naming Standards
* Varchar Minimums
* Who Calls the Shots and Who Does What?
…and others. Bring your votes, your debates, and your opinions.
Session Level: Intermediate
I so love giving this presentation because it is driven by audience members. Not a lecture by me, but a moderated, sometimes referred debate about issues in database design and data modeling.
But I’m betting you data architects are thinking "Why would I attend an event about SQL Server? I’m DBMS-agnostic." I think it’s great that we modelers and designers have skills that cross multiple vendor products. But I sometimes wonder if some of us pride our agnosticism so much that we have actually become DBMS-illiterates. I know that most of us don’t work hands on with databases as often and DBAs and Developers, but it is important that we understand and have a firm foundation on the platforms upon which our designs will be built.
SQL Saturdays are free events hosted by other data professionals and sponsored by vendors in the data community (that’s what keeps them free). Sometimes there is a small charge for lunch, but that’s it. For the Portland event, it appears that even lunch is free. You must pre-register, but it’s free. Did I mention it’s free?
So you can come to my session but what about the others? Here are ones that I’ve picked out the schedule that would be of value to those of us wearing the modeling/design hat on a project:
Does your company use agile development? It can deliver more value to customers with lower project risk. However, it can also make the system design change rapidly, and require frequent software rollouts. This session will focus on best practices for DBAs and developers to make design, testing and deployments easier. Keep your systems agile, not fragile!
Session Level: Intermediate
This session will describe the best practises for designing a data warehouse to get the most out of SQL Server. Doug has worked in data warehousing for 12 years and will blend experience, with best practises and recommendations from Microsoft’s Fast Track program. Each version of SQL Server introduces new features specifically for data warehousing – by applying the correct technique, feature, hint, modelling approach and layout the data warehouse will be faster and more scalable.
Session Level: Advanced
Dates and times seem simple at first. Kendra Little will show you there’s more to it than you think. She’ll give you five best practices that will help you select the right temporal data type, avoid common issues, and use the most effective techniques to aggregate data. She’ll also explain painful problems with query performance and how to avoid them. Choose wisely: the correct types and high performing data access logic will scale well and save development and administrative time.
Session Level: Intermediate
Self-promotion is often times the best promotion you can get. In this session, we will talk about how to promote yourself, your brand and your career without looking like “That Guy”. We will discuss Social Medias, communities, volunteering and other ways to get your name out… What are the first steps? Come find out.
I’m sure you’ve been told seeks are better than scans. I’m sure you’ve been told that a covering index is ideal. I’m sure you’ve been told small arrows are better than thick ones. Get the whole story.
Session Level: Intermediate
Microsoft offers three distinct platforms for data analysis and a variety of related reporting tools. When should you use BI Semantic Models, PowerPivot, tabular column storage, SSAS cubes or relational data marts? Learn about the right fit for each of these choices and what you need to know to use the next generation of BI reporting tools like Project Crescent, SSRS and SharePoint BI.
With the widespread availability of location and spatial data to both consumers and corporations (such as smartphone GPS data), there is a need to manage and analyze all this data as well. SQL Server 2008 introduces new standards-based spatial data types and associated functionality to the relational engine. Spatial data can be stored in the cloud using SQL Azure. And SQL Server 2008 R2 Reporting Services allows spatial data to be visualized as Maps. In this session, we’ll explore both the SQL spatial data types and SSRS maps, using demos to show this functionality in action. We’ll also cover enhancements to spatial functionality in the forthcoming "Denali" version of SQL Server.
Why these sessions? I believe that even if we aren’t responsible for finalizing a physical data model prior to implementation, it’s still a responsibility of ours to understand the above concepts so that we can work with models that include these design-time decisions. We may not be responsible for choosing all the indexes, but it’s important that our models have them. We need to understand the trade-offs around datatype choices, data warehouse architectures and newer DBMS features such as spatial datatypes, XML columns and others.
The line of responsibility between DBA, developer, and DA is constantly moving and may vary based on your project’s environment and culture. We must understand more about the target environments we are modeling for.
I hope to see you at the Portland SQL Saturday. The SQL community is great at sharing knowledge and we data architects need to be part of that sharing. It’s free, there will be prizes, and it’s fun. Be there.
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