The Data Warrior

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Archive for the tag “@dlinstedt”

Better Data Modeling: What is #DataVault 2.0 and Why do I care?

Have you heard?

Dan Linstedt has just had his new book published on Data Vault 2.0. It is called Building a Scalable Data Warehouse with Data Vault 2.0. If you are at all into data warehousing and agile design, you need to get this book now. So click here and be done.

For those of you not sure what this DV 2.0 stuff is all about and why you might want to learn about it, I recently did a series of guest posts for Vertabelo to introduce folks to the concepts. In the series I walk you through some of the history of Data Vault and why we need a new way to do data warehousing. Then I get into the basics of modeling the Data Vault, the Business Vault, and finally building Information Marts from a Data Vault.

So you can find the posts here:

#1 – Agile Modeling: Not an Option Anymore

#2 – Data Vault 2.0 Modeling Basics

#3 – The Business Data Vault

#4 – Building an Information Mart with Your Data Vault

Once you have read these, I am sure you will want to go buy the new Data Vault 2.0 book and maybe sign up for some online training on

Model on!


The Data Warrior

P.S. If you want to catch up, you can still purchase the original Data Vault (1.0) modeling book Super Charge Your Data Warehouse. It is a great reference book to have on hand (you can get it on Kindle too). Might as well have the whole set.

P.P.S. I turned this series into a Kindle ebook for easier reference, you can find it on my Author Profile or just click on the book cover in the right side bar above.

The Hills were Alive with the Sounds of #DataVault

Yes folks a few weeks back we held the 2nd Annual World Wide Data Vault Consortium (#WWDVC) at the lovely Trapp Family Lodge outside Stowe, Vermont. What a great venue! Beautiful scenery, near perfect weather, great food, and great beer (they have their own brewery). Standing on the hillside it is easy to see why the Von Trapp Family Singers (you know from “The Sound of Music”) decided to settle here to build their new life in America.

What a view!

What a view!

Of course the learning and networking were outstanding again. This year was even better than last year.


  1. Location, location, location
  2. It was May (so much warmer that last year in St Albans – brrrr.)
  3. Dr. Claudia Imhoff gave the keynote! I love her new concept #XDW – the Extended Data Warehouse.
  4. Scott Ambler talked about Agile DW! It takes a Disciplined approach to be agile.
  5. Dan talked about DV 2.0 and Big Data.
  6. Sanjay showed us how he built a DV 2.0 platform on Hadoop.
  7. Multiple, real world case studies of DV 2.0 working in the wild around the globe.
  8. I gave two talks and showed models and code from one of my recent adventures.
  9. Five members of the Boulder BI Brain Trust (#BBBT) in attendance.
  10. We had multiple 30-minute networking sessions between the talks (who does that?). Plenty of time to ask questions and get to know each other.
  11. Three (count ’em 3!) global software vendors with off the shelf tools that support the automatic generation of DV 2.0 compliant components. Wow!
  12. BBQ dinner hosted by AnalytixDS. Yum!
  13. Crazy shirt day and contest.
  14. And did I mention three days of face-to-face networking with world-renowned experts. (I got to have lunch with Claudia Imhoff AND Scott Amber at the same time – a once in a lifetime opportunity)
  15. Fresh German-style craft beer.
  16. Bavarian pastries from the in house bakery.
  17. Did I mention the food?
  18. The view.
  19. The hiking. (Good to get outside and exercise after all those sessions.)
  20. The mountain biking (after the conference of course).

As if that was not enough, I was privileged to attend an exclusive workshop/mentoring/Q&A session with Dan the day before the event, where he told us about new, as yet unpublished DV 2.0 additions, explained in depth the zero-key concept, the right way to use hash keys, 3 stages of managed self-service BI, and a host of other topics and issues we all wanted feedback on. My brain was tired before the conference even started.

Hint: if you want to get invited to that special session next year, you need to get DV 2.0 certified ASAP. Keep an eye on LearnDataVault for Dan’s teaching and speaking schedule and locations or contact me about setting up a class if you can’t make one of his (I am an authorized DV 2.0 Bootcamp Instructor too).

Bummed out now that you missed all this great learning? Not like I did not warn you!

Well first, you can catch a lot of the action and a bunch of pictures by mining the Twitter stream for #WWDVC. But since I know you are all too busy (or lazy?), here it is for you:

Really wish you were there? Really?

You are in luck because Dan managed to record some of the best session on video! The videos and all the PowerPoint presentations are now available, for sale, on the Data Vault learning site. Just check out this offering WWDVC 2015 Videos. In addition to the videos listed, you get all the other presentation materials from the speakers (including me).

Right now the cost is $499 (yup more than the conference but hey, no travel expense). Since you are a loyal reader of my blog, you can get a 20% discount off that by using the coupon code KENT10S during checkout.

Even without the discount, it is more than worth the money. The video of Claudia’s keynote and Scott Ambler’s talk are worth that much alone.  The videos are high quality and both of them are amazing speakers. (FYI – some of the videos are very long and may take a minute or two to load depending on your internet connection)

So that is my short review of WWDVC 2015. Glad I was able to be a part of this great event!

VonTrappLodge2Keep you eyes on for the announcement of the 2016 event and the call for papers (which will open soon).

See you next year? (Somewhere near Stowe again)


The Data Warrior

P.S. Dan’s newest book that covers Data Vault 2.0 is now available for pre-order on Amazon. Get a preview of Dan’s new DV 2.0 book.

The 12 Steps to Faster Data Warehouse Success


I have exciting news!

With the help of my good friend Dan Linstedt (of 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!


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 the 1st Annual World Wide Data Vault Consortium: Day 3

Well it was the last day of the 1st annual WWDVC. What an event is has been. (See recap of Day 1 and Day 2, here and here)

The sign outside the meeting room

The sign outside the meeting room

Don’t forget you can see all the action by searching on #WWDVC on twitter.

Agility and Data Vault

Long time data vault advocate Tom Breur opened our closing day with a talk about how we should strive to build the right product and build it right without creating more technical debt in the process.

He said agile is about taking small steps not about being faster. If we do this right, the solution we deliver should generate more legitimate business requirements.

He encouraged us all to read the Theory of Constraints and The Goal (I have), and to learn about lean delivery. Our goal should be to deliver continuously and consistently. The shorter the sprint, the better.

Next he went on to tell us his conclusion that while building a Kimball based solution may appear to deliver more value to the business, it takes too long. And in the end it is a fragile and rigid solution subject to major re-work when requirements change after deployment.

We can deliver value, quicker, using the data vault method. And what we deliver can be done incrementally and more easily added to without re-work.

Tom drew this to show how much quicker we can deliver some value sooner

Tom drew this to show how much quicker we can deliver some value sooner

Data Vault Case Studies

John Sells and Josh Bartells from Data Blueprint shared with us their experiences implementing data vault solutions for their clients.

John and Josh several successful DV projects

John and Josh share several successful DV projects

Why Data Blueprint decided to use DV as their consulting

Why Data Blueprint decided to use DV as their consulting

The gujys from DataBlueprint discuss hurdles and objections they encountered selling DV to clients

The guys from DataBlueprint discuss hurdles and objections they encountered selling DV to clients

It was great to hear about their success stories from the field and see how they addressed the challenges many of us have faced.

Data Vault Modeling Tool

MID GmbH from Germany has a pretty nice modeling tool with built in capabilities to support modeling a data vault solution from stage tables through reporting (including using the new DV icons).

Nice ability to visually show relationships across diagram types

Nice ability to visually show relationships across diagram types

MID's modeler has nice diagram to show all sorts of metadata relationships

MID’s modeler has nice diagram to show all sorts of metadata relationships

This is a tool worth checking out if you are doing a lot of data vault modeling.

Concluding Remarks

Dan closed out this inaugural event with a few remarks, some memories, thanks, and talk about plans for doing this again next year.

Dan closes out the 1st Annual WWDVC and asks about next year - where and when?

Dan closes out the 1st Annual WWDVC and asks about next year – where and when?

Guess I need to be careful what I say! :-)

Guess I need to be careful what I say! 🙂

One last time I have to say I am glad I came and can’t wait to do it again next year!

Snowy St Albans

Snowy St Albans

So long for now from Vermont.

Don’t forget to check out and get ready to join us next year!


Live from the 1st Annual World Wide Data Vault Consortium: Day 2

Wow has is been an amazing event with many amazing people from around the globe. I am VERY glad that I took the time and came to St Albans for this inaugural event.

As with Day 1, there is just too much great information for me to adequately cover it in a blog post (or 10!), so I will give you some highlights and lots of pictures.

The good news is that sometime in the next few months you will be able to purchase access to a video of the entire event on LearnDataVault (then you will be really bummed about not having come in person). Dan and Sanjay figure with their schedules it will take a few months to produce a top quality video. The good news is we had professional videographers for all three days and they filmed every keynote and every talk.

I will let you know when the video is ready.

Dan Does a Deep Dive on Data Vault 2.0

Due to popular demand, Dan actually changed the agenda and made the first session of Day 2 a detailed look at some of the more important aspects of Data Vault 2.0. This is material that he has not really written much about and is only available otherwise in his DV 2.0 bootcamp class.

Here are some of the highlights (again to see even more details check #WWDVC on twitter).

Opposing goals between DW storage and Mart presentation have led to many failed DW/BI projects.

Opposing goals between DW storage and Mart presentation have led to many failed DW/BI projects.

BTW – Dan would like to see us stop calling the reporting side “Data Marts” and start calling them “Information Marts”. To be agile we have to stop mixing the raw data storage (EDW) with the reporting that has applied business rules.

Dan went on a bit of a rant about the need to measure things.

DV 2.0 Methodology helps us be more precise to be more successful

DV 2.0 Methodology helps us be more precise to be more successful

Then we had a discussion about DV 2.0 architecture and methodology and how it supports and fits into the knowledge pyramid.

Dan introduces us to  DV 2.0 and the Knowledge Pyramid

Dan introduces us to DV 2.0 and the Knowledge Pyramid

The DV 2.0 Architecture

The DV 2.0 Architecture

The some discussion about DV 2.0 agility backed up by a real user case study.

A DV success at Qsuper

A DV success at Qsuper

It sure was great to see real numbers on a DV 2.0 success story!

So how did they do it? Dan then showed us his recommended approach to requirements gathering that helps the process become more agile.

DV 2.0 approach to getting better requirements faster

DV 2.0 approach to getting better requirements faster

Then finally another rant about how to get better performance from our systems.

Dan's Rules of Performance

Dan’s Rules of Performance

Roelant Vos (Analytics8) talks about DV Automation

Characteristics of ETL for Data Vault

Characteristics of ETL for Data Vault

Roelant Vos discusses  generating Data Vault ETL from meta data

Roelant Vos discusses generating Data Vault ETL from meta data

Roelant uses Lego as a great analogy for the patterns in Data Vault and why it is possible to auto-create ETL code.

Model driven ETL generation is possible

Model driven ETL generation is possible

What is needed  to support generation of ETL

What is needed to support generation of ETL

With all this in mind, Roelant has built a nice little kit to actually generate DV ETL code for his clients. Nice job! You can follow Roelant on twitter here.

Doug Needham (ClearMeasure) blows our minds with Data Vault Math.

There were a ton of tweets about this session. Doug has done some incredibly innovative work on using mathematics to determine the quality/completeness of a data vault model and some slick ways to validate that it has been loaded correctly. Lots of talk about graph theory and calculating edges ensued.

Doug blows our minds with math

Doug blows our minds with math

Research on how to determine the driving key for a Link

Research on how to determine the driving key for a Link

More calculations from Doug - vector math!

More calculations from Doug – vector math!

This is the first time I have met Doug, a former marine corp DBA. We have found we have a lot of experiences and thoughts in common, including a common client! He even grew up in Texas in the town where I now live!

In this session Doug famously said “If you do not know what a hypothesis, control group or A/B test is, you are NOT a data scientist.”

One of the great things about these event is the people you meet. I am glad to have met Doug.

Using Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler for DV

After a much needed brain break from Doug’s talk and some networking time, I got to take the floor again to show my favorite FREE data modeling tool. I did my usual top 10 type talk but with a slant towards how I leverage all those features to support a data vault modeling project.

Data Vault Diversity: The former Marine mathematician and the long haired enviromentalist

Data Vault Diversity: The former Marine mathematician and the long haired environmentalist

There were lots of good questions and interaction and lots of interest in how I have built virtual data marts on top of data vault warehouses.

Starting my SDDM intro talk

Starting my SDDM intro talk

And that was it for Day 2. We all took a break then had a happy hour and dinner (with demo) sponsored by AnalytixDS. Good food and good fun!

Data Vault geeks from around the world in snowy St Albans, Vermont

Data Vault geeks from around the world in snowy St Albans, Vermont

More to come on Day 3!


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