The Data Warrior

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Archive for the tag “business intelligence”

Cloud Analytics Conference – London!

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

CloudConference

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!

Kent

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 kent.graziano@snowflake.net.

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The 12 Steps to Faster Data Warehouse Success

Announcement!

I have exciting news!

With the help of my good friend Dan Linstedt (of LearnDataVault.com fame), we have just launched my first online training video based on my very popular white paper and talk: Agile Methods and Data Warehousing: How to Deliver Faster.

Most of you will agree that data warehousing and business intelligence projects take too long to deliver tangible results. I am sure all you project and program managers wish it was not true.

Often by the time a solution is in place, the business needs have changed.

With all the talk about Agile development methods, including SCRUM and Extreme Programming, the question arises as to how these approaches can be used to deliver data warehouse and business intelligence projects faster. This new online course will look at the 12 principles behind the Agile Manifesto and see how they can be applied in the context of a data warehouse project. Then I will talk about some of the specific agile techniques I have used with great success on my projects over the last 15 years. The goal is to determine a method or methods to get a more rapid (2-4 week) delivery of portions of an enterprise data warehouse architecture.

The last time I gave this talk, in Helsinki, Finland at Harmony 2014, I had standing room only and ended up being rated the 2nd best speaker at the event (pretty cool!). It was so popular that the UK Oracle Users Group asked me to write an article on the same topic for their international newsletter.

Since many of you don’t get the chance to travel to events like this (or may have missed my session), you can now see my talk online, at your convenience, for much less than the cost of a conference fee (and the airfare to get there!). We just filmed it last week, after I completed my most recent agile data warehouse engagement, so it contains some new insights and stories that even the folks in Helsinki did not get to hear.

As a bonus, once you have finished the course, you will be able to download a free copy of the detailed article I wrote for UKOUG.

If you have questions during or after the course, you can post them right there in the training portal where I will answer them. So in addition to the training course and the white paper, you also get interactive access to me!

How do I sign up?

So how do you sign up for this new class and how much does it cost?

Well, the full price for course will be $199, but for those of  you who read my blog, I have a special Valentines Day Special offer: if you are one of the first 50 people to purchase the class between now and midnight February 15, 2015, you get a full 50% off the retail price.

So that is $99.50 for over an hour of valuable content PLUS a copy of my white paper (and access to ask me your burning questions).

Use the coupon code: GRAZIANO50

You can buy it now by going to the all new Learn Data Vault training portal now.

On the site you see the class description, outline, and my introductory video, along with the “Buy Now!” button.

So hurry and cash in my special gift to you before the time is up (remember after 2/15/15 it will be $199).

Applying Agile

For those of you who had no idea there were 12 Principles behind the Agile Manifesto, let me tell you about one that I think is vitally important: Principle #6

The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.

This means the team works best when co-located so they can easily talk to each other during the day.

HINT: If not co-located, you need to be sure you have an adequate instant messaging system in place to facilitate their daily interaction. And that the team agrees to use it!

In addition, another best practice is to hold Team Huddles every morning. In the class, I give a lot of details about huddles and how they work, but the main point is that the team needs to meet briefly once a day (usually the morning) to make sure they are all one the same page as to what they are all working on.

I can tell you for a fact, that the daily huddles and ongoing interaction is definitely a critical success factor in adopting agile practices for your data warehouse team. I have seen great success where this was implemented properly and I have also seen lots of issues when the team did not communicate daily. There is no better recipe for disaster than to have your data architect building the wrong view when the report writer is trying to finalize the output with the user. Yikes!

So, if you want to learn how to apply the 12 Principle of Agile to become more successful in delivering usable results to your data warehouse and BI program, please go over to the training site and sign up from my class.

Here’s to your success!

Kent

The Data Warrior

P.S. Don’t forget to sign up before 2/15/15 with coupon code GRAZIANO50 to get 50% off the full price.

 

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.

Yum!

Yum!

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 pic.twitter.com/UEoIcQOs26

— 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!

Kent

The Oracle Data Warrior

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