The Data Warrior

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Archive for the tag “#chigung”

KScope13 Day Two: Wine to Water and Other Transformations

So day two in New Orleans at the ODTUG KScope13 event was another big day.

I am gong to start out at the end of the day with the General Session update so if you don’t have time to read the whole post you can read the really important and interesting stuff first.

General Session and Keynote

First the fun part, we got greeted by a live New Orleans Jazz band.

We had a live band in the lobby to great attendees before the general session and keynote.

We had a live band in the lobby to greet attendees before the general session and keynote.

That was great fun. They then led us all into the grand ballroom for the general session and then went out and led in our board of directors and the conference committee all dancing up a storm in true NOLA fashion.

The general session gets opened with the board and conference committee being lead on stage marching/dancing behind a live New Orleans Marching Jazz Band

The general session gets opened with the board and conference committee being led on stage marching/dancing behind a live New Orleans Marching Jazz Band

ODTUG Announcements and Award Winners

Every year ODTUG gives out a number of awards so I want to recognize the winners here:

Editors Choice Award for Best White Paper went to David Schleis.

The Oracle Contributor of the Year (which goes to an Oracle Corp employee) went to my good buddy, Jeff Smith.

The ODTUG Volunteer Award went to Mack McCasland who has been working behind the scenes at our events for over 10 years (and he is retired!),

In addition to these awards, Oracle also announced the promotion of my good friend John King to the status of Oracle ACE Director.

The big announcement: KScope14 will be in Seattle, Washington, USA on June 22-26, 2014. The conference hotel will be the Sheraton in downtown Seattle.

Wine to Water

The big deal for the night was our keynote speaker, Doc Hendley. He is a bartender who decided he wanted to make a much bigger impact on the world and ended up founding an organization that now brings clean water to people in over 15 countries.

The statistics he gave us on how many people in the world do not have clean, safe water to drink (over 1 billion!) were stunning. And that more people die from lack of clean water than those that have died in all the recent wars put together. Another startling fact is that even though it is the biggest killer on the planet, dealing with dirty water for the poor of the world gets less than 20% of the funding when compared with funding for HIV, malaria, and TB.

He has a very moving and passionate story about how he got to that place in his life where he found his real purpose, discovered these facts, and set out to do something about it. His talk (and book) tell the whole story. There were a few teary eyes by the end of his talk. Doc has shown amazing courage and perseverance in the pursuit of making a difference.

He really has proven that one, very ordinary person can have a large impact on the lives of others if you really set your mind to it.

I encourage you to go over to his site and learn about his mission, his story, and his organization Wine to Water.

Maybe you can help him make a difference.

Doc Hendley, Founder of Wine to Water, gives a moving and inspirational address as our keynote speaker.

Doc Hendley, Founder of Wine to Water, gives a moving and inspirational address as our keynote speaker.

The rest of my day

So back to earlier it the day (for those still with me here)…

Started as always with my morning chi gung class. The group grew to about 14 people with a few new folks joining us. We had a few passersby stop to watch and try a few moves as well.

After a healthy breakfast and a shower I did my first talk of the event, Five Ways to Make Data Modeling Fun. There were about 20 folks in the session and we all had a good time trying out my ideas.

Then I headed over to hear my friend Jeff Smith talk about SQL Developer (my 2nd favorite Oracle product).

Oracle Senior Product Manager (and ODTUG Oracle Contributor of the Year) shows us his top tips and trick for SQL Developer.

Oracle Senior Product Manager (and ODTUG Oracle Contributor of the Year) shows us his top tips and tricks for SQL Developer

After that is was another awesome lunch (beet salad and redfish!) then on to Mark Rittman’s session about OBIEE, Endeca, and his take on the overall landscape of Oracle BI and data discovery in the new world of NoSQL and Hadoop.

In Mark Rittman's session he talked a bit abut Oracle's strategy around business analytics.

In Mark Rittman’s session he talked a bit abut Oracle’s strategy around business analytics

Always a good idea to get Mark’s take on things BI.

Lastly (before the general session that is), I did my second presentation along with Stewart Bryson. We introduced folks to the idea of using OBIEE on top of a Data Vault Data Warehouse and showed how it conformed to Oracle’s reference architecture while at the same time enabled an agile approach to BI.

Oracle ACE Stewart Bryson talks about how he used OBIEE to create a virtual data mart on top of a Data Vault style EDW model

Oracle ACE Stewart Bryson talks about how he used OBIEE to create a virtual data mart on top of a Data Vault style EDW model

I can’t thank Stewart enough for taking on the challenge to learn Data Vault and figuring out how to use it effectively in OBIEE. His approach works very well and should really enable organizations to truly leverage their data and create an agile BI/DW framework.

That’s it for today’s report. I should have another report for you tomorrow on activities today!



P.S. Yes there was eating and drinking around the French Quarter after hours. Even got to have a drink with Doc Hendley and his wife on Bourbon Street. That was a nice treat.

See you at KScope13!

Are you ready?

It is almost time for the annual ODTUG KScope conference in New Orleans. It starts with the Community Service Day on Saturday June 22nd and runs through Thursday June 27th at the Sheraton Hotel right on the edge of the French Quarter.

For my readers that are attending, I will be giving three talks this year, leading morning Chi Gung classes,  as well as sitting on the BI Lunch and Learn Panel.

My talks will be:

Five Ways to Make Data Modeling Fun – Monday at 9:45 AM

Using OBIEE and Data Vault to Virtualize Your BI Environment: An Agile Approach – Monday at 3 PM (with Stewart Bryson)

Top Ten Cool Features in Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler – Tuesday at 12:15 PM

And on Wednesday at 10:45 AM you will find me in Social Media Lounge getting interviewed about Data Modeling, ODTUG, and KScope.

If you are joining me for Morning Chi Gung, I believe we will meet in the hotel lobby at 6:45 AM so we can walk to the river front park where we will hold our class. It is only a 30 minute class right before breakfast so please give it a try and get energized for a long day of learning and networking! Follow me on twitter @KentGraziano for any updates to the location and meeting time.

Don’t forget to download the new KScope Mobile App so you can keep track of your schedule and not miss any of these sessions.

See you in New Orleans!


The Oracle Data Warrior

RMOUG Training Days 2013 – OTN Lab Day

Today  I arrived in Denver to attend the annual Rocky Mountain Oracle Users Group (RMOUG) Training Days conference. It is one of, if not the, most successful local Oracle user group events in the United States (and has been for many years). For the past few years it has been held at the Denver Convention Center (which is guarded by a big blue bear).

Big Blue Bear

Big Blue Bear

It has a been a few years since I have been able to attend and I am glad to be back. I am attending and presenting (as I posted last week).

Today, I was mostly in attendee mode and got to attend a lab session hosted by a few of my friends from Oracle product management (Jeff Smith, Kris Rice, and David Peake). They did an end-to-end, soup-to-nuts session taking the attendees through using SQL Developer Data Modeler to design a database, then SQL Developer to build the tables, then Oracle Application Express (APEX) to build a web based interface to add and view data in that database.

OTN Developer Lab

OTN Developer Lab

And all this was done using an Oracle virtual machine downloadable from OTN.

Unfortunately it would not load on my machine (figures) so I paired up with my long-time friend Jon Arnold and did the labs together.

David Peake Teaches APEX

David Peake Teaches APEX

I learned quite few interesting things and got re-introduced to APEX (which s a very cool tool). I need to look some more at the Interactive Reporting feature for sure.

The coolest thing was that APEX can be used to build applications that run on mobile devices. All point and click development to do it too. APEX has been used to build some pretty big apps for some pretty big companies (including Oracle).

APEX Mobile

APEX Mobile

Another cool thing I learned was that the default install of APEX (a no-cost option with every Oracle database) comes with a bunch of packaged application that are ready to use and a bunch of sample apps for oyu to start with to try out different APEX features. You really need to check this tool out.

Tomorrow will be busy.

I was officially added to the agenda at 7 AM to teach my morning Chi Gung class.

Then I have two presentations to do and a networking lunch session.

Then dinner with some friends and soe good Colorado Mexican food (and adult beverages).

Stay tuned…


Rocky Mountain High and Some Chi Gung

Are you ready?

Are you coming?

The annual Rocky Mountain Oracle Users Group Training Days kicks off next Monday, February 11 at the Denver Convention Center. I can hardly wait! I love the beautiful surroundings and vibe of Denver and the mountains. It is a great place to hang out, relax, and sharpen your skills.

I will be there attending sessions, networking with some old friends, and doing three presentations. Here they are:

Five Ways to Make Data Modeling Fun Tuesday, 11:15 – 12:15

Using OBIEE and Data Vault to Virtualize Your BI Environment: An Agile Approach Tuesday, 5:15 – 6:15 PM

Top 10 Cool Features in Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler Wednesday 2:45 – 3:45 PM

In addition to these officially scheduled sessions, I will be conducting  Morning Chi Gung sessions at 7 Am both Tuesday and Wednesday morning for those interested. Not sure yet where we will gather for this but probably in the Convention Center somewhere. (Keep an eye on my twitter stream @KentGraziano for details once I am on site next Monday).

The Chi Gung sessions are staring to be a traditon with me at various Oracle user events, so please come and join our growing tribe. If you are not sure what Chi Gung is, check out my post from last summer for a video introduction. For those of us coming from lower altitude, these morning sessions should help us adjust a little easier. Since the air is a bit thinner in Denver, learning to breathe deeply will be a useful skill. 🙂

If you are signed up and planning to attend, I look forward to meeting up with you. If not, get signed up soon and get yourself to Denver to enjoy a little Rocky Mountain high with 1,000 of the brightest Oracle minds in the world.

See ya!



2012: Year in the Life of an Oracle Data Warrior

Hard to believe it is nearly the end of the year. But…it is here.

I will be taking time until the end of the year so I am doing my “year-end” post now.

It was a significant year for me with many new things, events, conferences, and clients. Here is a list, by month of a few of them:


I launched this blog – Oracle Data Warrior! At the stroke of midnight on January 1, I hit publish for this posting. So far I have had over 22,000 views on the site with the best/biggest day drawing 294 views on September 24th. People came to check out a free promotion for my new Kindle book.

So far 78 of you have subscribed to this blog and hence get notification whenever I post something new.

Thanks for your support! (For the rest – subscribed now so you don’t miss anything in 2013).

In January I also launched the Year of the Data Vault by going to Dan Linstedt’s Data Vault certification class in Montreal. It was a great class. Check the January archive for my posts about the class.


I posted what has turned out to be THE most popular article so far: The best FREE data modeling tool ever. So far it has had 8,213 views! Wow! (of course since a bunch of you just clicked the link that number has gone up again)

Also big in February (every year) is the RMOUG Training Days in Denver, Colorado. This year I did the first ever remote presentation via skype as part of their pre-conference seminar on data warehousing. My presentation was, of course, on Data Vault. There were a few technical issues but with the help of my good friend Jerry Ireland we got through it fine.

(Note: For RMOUG 2013, I will actually be presenting in person).


Two really big things this month:

  1. I filed with the state of Texas and formed Data Warrior LLC, signed my very first 1099 (independent) contract and became an official business.
  2. The Data Vault Training Portal was launched. You can read my post about that here.


Business wise, I started the 1099 contract work at MD Anderson Cancer Center and got to work building a data vault for one of their internal projects.

On the blog, I made some modification to the layout and added a War Chest page with links to some resources that cost a little money (as opposed to my White Paper page which has Free stuff).


After one month of being an independent contractor I bought my first smartphone – an LG Nitro. I am not really a huge gadget guy so I had put this off for sometime but finally gave in so I could tweet at the upcoming ODTUG conference in San Antonio.

Of course this means I signed up for Twitter. You can find me there at


June was  HUGE month.

  1. The Data Vault modeling book, hit #1 on Kindle.
  2. I got “promoted” to Oracle ACE Director (and found out via a Facebook post!).
  3. And of course there was KScope12 in San Antonio, Texas. I taught Chi Gung every morning at 7 AM and blogged about the event every night (at about midnight). Just check my June archives for all the posts and plenty of pictures.


Slowed down a bit here. Recovered from KScope12 (started planning for KScope13). Wrote a bit about work/life balance and posted this cool InfoGraphic.


Another first for me in August was I published my first eBook on Kindle about data model design reviews.

Then we had an excellent family vacation with my father back east. We drove through the Adirondack Mountains in New York State and then to the Green Mountains of Vermont where we stayed at the Trapp Family Lodge. It gets my highest recommendation for a family friendly, environmentally aware, upscale, outdoor vacation resort. Pay the money and go – you only live once!

While on the trip, my nine year old son came up with a great idea for a blog post: How to make data modeling fun. When we got back, I wrote and posted it here. (Soon it will be a presentation at a conference near you)


This was another big and fun month – all about Oracle Open World 2012 and getting to attend my first Oracle ACE Director meeting at Oracle HQ. Like at KScope, I blogged every night in the wee hours to capture what I saw and learned that day. The smart phone got a lot of use taking pictures in session and around San Francisco. It is all logged in the September archives.


Actually OOW 2012 bled over into October so there are even more posts and pictures in the October Archive folder.

The other biggie in October was that I finished out my contract at MD Anderson Cancer Center and started a new gig at McKesson Specialty Health (US Oncology). This has turned out to be a great project with a good team (like I had at MD Anderson), but with the added benefit of only being 9 miles from my house. This is the shortest commute I have had since college! Saves me 2.5 hours a day in driving.

Needless to say, that is a very nice aspect of the job.


This month was less about data (and my normal work) and more about fitness, a new habit, and being a warrior. (Though I did get accepted to present at the RMOUG Training Days in Denver.)

The highlight of the month was attending the 20th Anniversary celebration for the International Combat Hapkido Federation. I have been attending their workshops and seminars for over 15 of those years and have had the privilege to train with several of their master as well as their founder and grand master John Pellegrini. Combat Hapkido is a very practical martial art for self-defense and a lot of fun to learn and practice.

It was a great event with back to back workshops (i.e., work outs!) with many masters and grand masters. We got training in Tai Chi, stretching, conditioning, kicking, Filipino Escrima, ground survival, and pressure points. There were actual martial arts celebs in attendance including Bill “Superfoot” Wallace, Cynthia Rothrock, and Stephen Hayes.

Since my main art is Tae Kwon Do, I was very privileged to meet and train with Grandmaster Bill Wallace (who actually has signed my last two black belt certificates along with GM Pellegrini). GM Wallace’s session was challenging and fun. He is quite entertaining.

Me (right) with GM Superfoot Wallace (center)  and Master Ramon Voils

Me (right) with GM Superfoot Wallace (center) and Master Ramon Voils

At 67 years old, GM Wallace can kick faster and higher than pretty much everyone I have every trained with. I can only hope to be doing so well when I reach that age.

This why he is called "Superfoot"

This is why he is called “Superfoot”

For more pictures from the event, you can subscribe to my newsfeed on Facebook or like my page. You might even find a picture of me in a suit!


And now we are up to this final month of 2012. I have been very busy with my work at McKesson so have only got one post out about the newest release of SQL Developer Data Modeler (which I use nearly every day!).

I did however recently get notification that I had several papers accepted for presentation at the ODTUG  KScope13 conference in New Orleans next June. Be sure to register for that event too!

Yes it was quite the busy year…

Stay tuned for 2013 and see what happens.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


The Oracle Data Warrior

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