The Data Warrior

Changing the world, one data model at a time. How can I help you?

Archive for the tag “#DataWarrior”

Around the World with the #DataWarrior

Yup I traveled a lot in 2019. Mostly in my role as Chief Technical Evangelist for Snowflake, but some for family vacations (yes I do take those!).

Inspired by good friend Jeff Smith, here is my travel report based on Google location services. Surprisingly accurate (should I be concerned?).

While traveling this much can be taxing (especially on my family), it is a blessing to be able to see all these wonderful places and meet lots of wonderful people as part of my job at Snowflake, even if it means being a #RoadWarrior.

By The Numbers

  • 174 miles on foot!
    • There are more miles when I did not have my phone
    • This includes a great hike with my family all the way from Waikiki Beach to the top of Diamond Head and then back.
  • 2 miles by bike – I know that was in Berlin using an Uber Bike (a very neat and useful concept)
  • 14,450 miles by mass transit (cars, trains)
  • And then a lot more air miles!

Wow. That adds up to 7 times around the world for an estimated 173,475 miles! Yikes.

In 2019 I got to explore both countries and cities I had never been to before, as well as some fo my old favorites.

New Locales:

In the “never been here before” category:

  • Stockholm, Sweden – first time ever to Sweden! Even in January it was quite fun with lots of sites to see including the Viking Museum.
Vikings!
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Dublin, Ireland – actually got to go there twice!
  • Madrid, Spain
  • Lisbon, Portugal – LOVED the seafood!
Amazing fresh, cheap, seafood in Lisbon
  • Hannover, Germany
  • Stuttgart, Germany
  • Zurich, Switzerland
  • Australia & New Zealand – I had two separate 2 week trips down under and got to see quite a bit, plus catch up with some old friends I had not seen in over 20 years.
    • Sydney (2x)
    • Melbourne (2x)
    • Canberra
    • Brisbane
    • Auckland (2x)
  • Cleveland, Ohio – yup, never been there before. Managed a visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (with Jeff Smith).
  • Costa Mesa, California

Old Favorites

I did manage to also visit places in the US where I have bene before like Dallas, Miami, Ft Lauderdale, Orlando, Santa Monica, Philadelphia, Honolulu (vacation), and Stowe (Vermont). I had LOTS of trips to San Francisco and San Mateo (where Snowflake HQ is located).

Outside the US, I got the pleasure of return visits to Rome (which I LOVE LOVE LOVE), Milan, London (2x), Amsterdam (2x), Utrecht (2x), Helsinki (Finland), and at the end of the year, a trip to snowy Montreal in Canada.

Me and Caeser in Rome
The Colosseum, Rome
Panini in Rome! What is Italia without food, gelato, and vino?

Where to next?

So where will I go in 2020? Stay tuned. The adventure continues…

Sailing on an America’s Cup boat in Auckland, NZ

Happy New Year 2020!

Kent

The Data (and Road) Warrior

P.S. One place I will be for sure in June is the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas where we will be hosting the 2nd Annual Snowflake Summit. We do expect it to SELL OUT again this year. Super Early Bird registration closes January 30th, so get your registration in today!

Drill to Detail Podcast: Data Modeling, Data Vault, and Snowflake!

My good friend Mark Rittman has embarked on a new adventure as an independent analyst and consultant. As part of his new venture Mark started a new podcast series on iTunes that he calls Drill to Detail where he will feature interviews discussing a range of topics related to data warehousing, business intelligence, analytics, and big data.

I was honored to be asked to take part in this new venture and got to spend a hour with Mark a few weeks back recording what is now Episode 5 of the series. In this interview we talk about:

The podcast is about 60 minutes with each topic being about 20 minutes (so feel free to skip ahead if you are short on time). Please have a listen and let us know what you think in the comments below.

Cheers!

Kent

The Data Warrior

P.S. I will be speaking on these and related topics at a bunch of events over the next few weeks. Check out my speaking schedule and join me in person if you can!

Maintaining disabled FK’s, wisdom or farce?

A while back, I wrote a post about having FKs (foreign keys) in your data warehouse.

Well, a similar question came up recently on an Oracle forum with the above title. It is a fair question and it does surface fairly regularly in a variety of contexts (not just data warehousing).

Of course, as The Data Warrior, I felt is was my duty to respond.

The Question

Is there any reason to maintain a permanently disabled FK in the data model?  I’m not envisioning a reason to do it.  If it is not going to be enabled, then from my perspective, it would not make any sense to have it defined.  If anything, provide the definition of the relationship in the comment of the child column.

My Answer

Yes, by all means keep the FK please!

I see three good reasons for doing so:

  1. It is valuable metadata (& documentation). If somebody reverse engineers the database (say with ERWin or Oracle Data Modeler), the FK shows up in the diagram (way better than having to read a column comment to find out)

    Data Vault 2.0 Example

    A picture is worth a thousand words!

    .

  2. BI Metadata – If you want to use any sort of reporting or BI tool against the database, most tools will import the FK definition with the tables and build the proper join conditions. Way better than having someone guess what the join will be and then manually adding it to the metadata layer in the reporting tool. Examples that can read the Oracle data dictionary include OBIEE, Business Objects, COGNOS, Looker, and many others.(Note here that since the FK is not enforced on the remote databases, you might want to make sure these are treated as outer joins, lest you lose some transaction in the reports).
  3. The Oracle optimizer will use disabled constraints to improve query performance of joins. Again, this is metadata in the data dictionary which the optimizer can read. This is documented in the Oracle Data Warehouse guide and I have validated it on multiple occasions with Oracle product management.

While #3 applies specifically to Oracle, for other databases like MS SQL Server and Snowflake, #1 and #2 still apply.

Even if only one of the above is true for a given database, that, in my opinion, still justifies keeping the disabled constraint around.

Final Answer = Wisdom

What do you think? Feel free to comment below.

And please share on your favorite social media platform!

Model on!

Kent

The Data Warrior

 

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