The Data Warrior

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Archive for the tag “BI”

Cloud Analytics Conference – London!

Next up on The Data Warrior speaking tour 2017 is the Snowflake Cloud Analytics Conference in London on June 1st!


Snowflake is kicking off this year’s Cloud Analytics City Tour with a blow out event in London, England. This will be a full day workshop style event where you get to hear and learn from industry veterans and thought leaders like myself, and the CEO of Snowflake Computing, Bob Muglia (to name just a few). In addition we will have a Practitioner Panel discussion that includes several of our customers along with other industry thought leaders.

The unique value proposition for this event is that in the afternoon you can choose from two tracks of in depth sessions related to implementing your BI solutions and your data warehouse in the cloud.

I will be presenting my talk Agile Methods and Data Warehousing: How to Deliver Faster. My highly seasoned colleagues from Snowflake (all industry experts) will teach you about loading data in the cloud, deploying BI in the cloud, and how to best use Snowflake to be successful with your cloud analytics program.

And of course there will be food, drinks, and networking.

You can find all the agenda details here along with the registration form. Use discount code DATAWARRIOR for 50% off the registration fee.  Sign up today!

This will be my first time ever in London, so if you are in the area, please come by, say “hi” and learn about the new world of Cloud Analytics.

Until then, cheers!


The Data Warrior

P.S. I will be in London the day before and after the event, so if you want to have a more detailed or personalized discussion of the benefits of cloud-native data warehousing, please reach out to me at

Forecast: Partly Cloudy — Connecting #OBIEE to @SnowflakeDB

My good friends at RedPill Analytics have done it again! In their never ending mission to #ChallengeEverything, they thought it would be cool to try to connect OBIEE (Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition) to the Snowflake Elastic Data Warehouse as a way to give OBIEE users access to a high performance data warehouse cloud service. This is their story:

If you’re reading this post, you’ve probably seen my other post on connecting OBIEE to Amazon Web Services’ Redshift database offering. If not, thanks for joining in for this part of the adventure. To summarize the last post, cloud applications are becoming increasingly more common, and because of this fact, more of the data that is produced and consumed will be in the cloud. How can we connect on-premises business intelligence tools to these cloud sources? Specifically, how can we connect OBIEE to them?

See the details on how to connect to Snowflake here:

Forecast: Partly Cloudy (Part 2) — Connecting OBIEE to Snowflake

Here comes the sun!


The Data Warrior

Viva Las Vegas!

Later this morning I am flying out to Las Vegas to attend my first HIMSS conference. This is the biggest IT Healthcare related event on the planet.

I will be hanging out at the Snowflake booth (#14078) in the Clinical & Business Intelligence Knowledge Center, ready to talk about elastic data warehousing and how it can help with BI and analytics in healthcare.

Here are the hours:

  • Monday, February 29 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm (Opening Reception)
  • Tuesday, March 1 9:30 am – 6:00 pm
  • Wednesday, March 2 9:30 am – 6:00 pm
  • Thursday, March 3 9:30 am – 4:00 pm

So, if you are attending HIMSS this year, please stop by and say hi.


The Data Warrior

P.S. I will be tweeting as always and may even attempt to Periscope live from HIMSS. Watch for #ElasticDW #HIMSS16

Live from Boulder: Denodo speaks to the #BBBT

Yes, I was in Boulder, Colorado for my first in-person BBBT meeting.

First, what is the BBBT?

BBBT – The Boulder BI Brain Trust

The BBBT was founded by Dr. Claudia Imhoff, an internationally known data warehousing and business intelligence expert who happens to live near Boulder, Colorado. I have known Claudia personal for many years. She did me the honor of critiquing and editing chapters int he very first book I wrote (and definitely made it better).

BBBT HQ Office in Boulder

BBBT HQ Office in Boulder

The BBBT is a group of independent BI analysts, practitioners, authors, experts and consultants that gather periodically to learn about the various vendors and trends in this industry.

The group is by invitation from Claudia, and I was very honored to be asked to join this amazing group earlier this year.

Since I was heading to Denver for some other activities, I decided to go a bit earlier so I could attend the briefing with Denodo and surprise Claudia (since I usually just dial in from Houston). As a bonus I got to partake in some nice little treats Claudia had laid out for us.



Who is Denodo?

So this week’s briefing was from Denodo Technologies. They are a privately held global company that provides modern data virtualization software. Here is a bit from their website:

Denodo Technologies, Inc. has redefined data integration to make the delivery of data to the corporate business applications simple.

The Denodo Data Services Platform is an enterprise Data Virtualization, Data Federation and Cloud Data Integration middleware that uses a declarative approach to abstract, unify, federate and understand disparate data sources and systems, supporting multiple acquisition and delivery modes and latency requirements, as well as a rich set of easy to use data transformation, data federation and data mashup capabilities.

Through Data Virtualization and Data Services, Denodo makes virtual data integration more flexible to adapt to the changing business needs and the evolution of the IT infrastructure, more universal to connect to a wider range of internal and external data sources, including the Web data, Cloud data, SaaS applications and less structured sources, and more cost-effective, by radically reducing licenses costs and the need for professional services and support.

Get the rest of the details about the company here.

Our in person presenters were Suresh Chandrasekaran, Senior VP, and Paul Moxon, Senior Director.

Denodo - Suresh presenting

Denodo – Suresh presenting

One key phrase they use is Broad Spectrum Capabilities. Here is a tweet with a nice picture of what they meant by that:

Capabilities of the @denodo #data platform #BBBT

— Jorge García (@jgptec) December 13, 2013

Data Virtualization

Everyone has their own take on what “data virtualization” means. Here is one slide showing what Denodo means:

Denodo Data Virtualization

Pretty broad based definition overall but it definitely set the context for the discussion. Being a Data Warrior, I am particularly interested in their Common Data Layer (alternatively called a Data Services Layer). Basically they allow you to map any data from nearly any source (and type of source) to what I would call a logical canonical model.

Not easy by any means, but I was reasonably impressed with what I saw of their data modeling tool where you defined not only the logical definition of the “entity” but also defined where that data came from and how it was joined to other sources for virtual integration.

One key point that people need to remember is that even with an easy to use, web-based, graphical tool for defining these virtualized data objects, somebody, somewhere, still has to do the very hard work of determining how this data joins together. That is hard enough to do when you are joining relational tables, but it does not get any easier when you throw in NoSQL, unstructured or semi-structured data streams, JSON documents, etc from sources like Cloudera and MongoDB (to name only a very few).

While I have not used the Denodo tool myself, their data modeling and mapping tool did look fairly easy to use and navigate.

Virtualization Patterns

One unique thing Denodo has done is define a variety of patterns they have observed with their clients. In turn they have developed best practices and solutions for implementing those patterns efficiently with their tool (of course).

Virtualization Patterns

Virtualization Patterns

While Agile BI and Data Warehousing are amoung the patterns, they are not the only ones.

This is good and progressive thinking (IMO). Most organizations really have a need for more than one of these patterns to truly solve their modern data management issues. There are many sources and uses of data in the modern data landscape and thinking that addressing only one of these (for example BI) will solve your issues, is thinking too much “inside the box”.

I am pleased to see a vendor taking this broad-based view of the situation and working to provide a unified solution platform to help.

So if you are looking/considering building a data services architecture and are looking at data virtualization tools, I would recommend you at least consider Denodo.

And of course stay tuned to the BBBT, and check the archived podcasts to see what other interesting vendors there are out there that you might want to consider.

Keep learning!


The Oracle Data Warrior

KScope13 Day Three: Crossing Over in New Orleans

Well Tuesday was another fun and fact filled day at the annual ODTUG KScope conference in New Orleans.

As we do each morning, the first event is Morning Chi Gung. This morning the group grew again to 22 participants who met at 6:45 AM (yes it is early) to walk down the street a few blocks to get in some morning moving meditation. Today we even picked up a few “strays” who joined us (folks not part of the KScope event).

Only in New Orleans would people wander by and join an Ad Hoc exercise and meditation class.

I consider that a sign of success. 🙂

After that is was back to the hotel, breakfast, a quick shower, then my first session.

Hands-on Lab

To start off I went to the SQL Developer Hands-on Lab run by Oracle Product Managers Jeff Smith and Ashley Chen. We had a very nice lab (downloadable from OTN) on how to use SQL Developer for Tuning database queries.

It was very education and useful for me. I even learned a few new options in the tool I had not seen before.

Lunch and Learn

Next, after writing yesterday’s blog post, I got to participate it an ODTUG annual session – the BI Panel Lunch and Learn.

This year they improved it by allowing 30 minutes first for everyone to eat before we started the discussions and questions. Much better (at least for us panelists!).

Quite a good audience for the Oracle ACE BI Lunch & Learn Panel discussion

Quite a good audience for the Oracle ACE BI Lunch & Learn Panel discussion

We had a great and interactive session with lots of give and take and a few somewhat controversial comments from Dan Vlamis to liven things up a bit. Our esteemed moderator, Mark Rittman, did an excellent job of prompting us with relevant questions and controlling the flow of the conversation so everyone had their say. Rounding out the panel was Gurcan Orchan, our resident ODI expert (amoung many other things)

Data modeling sessions

After the panel I went on to see my friend Ashely Chen introduce people to SQL Developer Data Modeler in her Data Modeling 101 session.

Oracle Product Manager Ashley Chen presenting Data Modeling 101 with SQL Developer Data Modeler

Oracle Product Manager Ashley Chen presenting Data Modeling 101 with SQL Developer Data Modeler

Ashley dd a great job setting the stage by showing people what is meant by data modeling and how it fits in the life cycle of developing a database. She then showed many of the basic features of Oracle Data modeling tool.

After Ashley’s session then I had my final presentation on my Top 10 Cool Features in SQL Developer Data Modeler. Ashley and Jeff Smith both attended along with 20-30 other folks as I ran down my list of things I use and like in the tool.

The talk went well with some good questions about the product and how to use it (except for the fact I kinda ran out of time and had to rush the last 3 features). I got some great feedback from Jeff and Ashley on the talk and an excellent suggestion for my next talk. 😉

The Hyperion Crossover Session

This was a KScope first -sessions about topics aimed at people on the other side of the fence. So this session was for database people who know nothing about the Hyperion and Essbase products that Oracle acquired a few years back.

It was an excellent session, even if not highly attended (something about being after the happy hour in the exhibit hall perhaps?).

Andy Jorgenson conducts the first ever Hyperion 101 Crossover Session (for database people)

Andy Jorgenson conducts the first ever Hyperion 101 Crossover Session (for database people)

I learned that they are solving many of the same problems as we database people do but just with a different technology. Some of the terms are used a little differently. For example what they label as BI is much broader than I tend to think of – to them it is basic reporting against an ERP. I tend to associate BI with a data warehouse or a data mart (but the data comes from an ERP or operational system originally).

We also got a full list of some of the pre-packased applications that Oracle provides in this space. Very focused on financial solutions.

During the Hyperion 101 session, Andy discussed all the pre-built packaged analytic application that Oracle offers.

During the Hyperion 101 session, Andy discussed all the pre-built packaged analytic application that Oracle offers.

The really cool thing I learned was what Essbase stands for:

Extended SpreadSheet dataBASE

Very telling!

After that it was off to another fine dining experience in the French Quarter.

Probably not going to lose weight on this trip!

C’ya! Tomorrow I should be reporting on our big event!


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