The Data Warrior

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Archive for the tag “oracle users group”

Better Data Modeling: The Data Warrior Speaks 2015

Great news, I have confirmed three major events, and one local event so far this year where you can come out and hear me speak about some of my favorite topics: #DataModeling, #SQLDevModeler, and #DataVault.

So, line up your training budget and get registered for at least one of these great events.

DAMA Houston

My first talk for the year will be local – downtown Houston. I will present an Introduction to Data Vault Modeling for the Houston Chapter of DAMA International (next week!).

When: 10-Feb-2015
Time: 1pm – 4:30pm
Where: Chevron Building, Rio Grande Room – 51st floor, 1600 Smith, Houston, TX 77002

If you plan to attend, please RSVP directly to

RMOUG Training Days 2015

Held every year at the Denver Convention Center in mid-February, The Rocky Mountain Oracle Users Group Training Days is the best value around for user group events – low cost ($395- $455), great locations (Denver!), and excellent speaker lineup (international speakers, Oracle ACE and ACE Directors).

I will be speaking both Wednesday, February 18, and Thursday, February 19 (last session!). My topics this year will be an Introduction to SQL Developer Data Modeler, and Worst Practices in Data Warehouse Design.

Plus I will be leading Morning Chi Gung exercises at 7 AM both days to get you all warmed up for a great day of learning. Check the entire agenda here.

As a bonus there are some excellent deep dive sessions on Tuesday, February 17th that are not to be missed, so get there early.

New this year will be Special Interest Group (SIG) meetings during lunch on Wednesday. I will be co-leading one on Data Integration & Data Warehousing with Bobby Curtis.

So, lots to do see and learn. Sign up today (and bring your ski equipment for the weekend after).

2nd Annual World Wide Data Vault Consortium

WWDVC was so successful last year, that Dan decided to do it again. This year there is even a new cool website for the event, which will be held May 28-30 in Stowe, Vermont at the Trapp Family Lodge. This will be a small event (less than 60 people), with a single track so you won’t have to decide which talk to attend.

Yes, the hills will be alive with the sounds of Data Vault geeks from around the world telling their tales of trials, tribulations, and success as they try to implement large, agile, enterprise data warehouse programs across many industries. Topics include:

  • Big Data, NoSQL
  • Virtualization of Data Marts
  • Data Vault 2.0 & Agility
  • Changing roles of Data Modeling
  • Managed Self-Service BI

The speaker lineup is a who’s-who of the data warehouse and agile world.

Special guests this year include a keynote from Claudia Imhoff, Dan Linstedt,  and newest addition Scott Ambler (one of the authors of the Agile Manifesto).

I will be there again, giving two talks with my buddy from McKesson, Keith Hoyle. We will discuss Data Warehousing in the Real World and talk about our endeavors to develop Virtualized Hybrid Type 1-2 Dimensions to enable Extreme BI.

Don’t miss this chance to rub elbows and network with the top innovators and thinkers in the data warehouse and BI space. Sign up soon as there are limited slots and limited rooms at the inn.

ODTUG KScope15

Another amazing annual event, this user group gathering will be a veritable who’s-who in the Oracle community. Again you will find Oracle ACEs and ACE Directors, as well as Oracle Product Managers, all ready and willing to discuss the latest and greatest tools for doing Oracle development work. Check out the amazing list of talks and presenters.

This year it is back to the beach for KScope. It will be held June 21-25 at the Diplomat Resort and Spa on the beach in Hollywood, Florida.

By popular demand, the last day of the conference will be all Deep Dive sessions, so be sure to plan your travel to hang out until the end (and then enjoy the beach!).

I will be giving two talks during the week (same ones as at RMOUG), answering questions on a panel or two, and again running my annual Morning Chi Gung sessions every morning (but this year outside on the beach).

This should be a very educational and relaxing event as it is every year. And it is in a family-friendly location so bring the gang along.  You can register today and still get a huge early registration discount.

So what are you  waiting for?

See you soon!


The Data Warrior

P.S. While at these events I do expect to have some limited free time, so if you would like some one-on-one coaching in person, contact me directly at kent <dot> graziano <at> att <dot> net to set up a session.


East Coast Oracle Users Conference (#ECOracle13) Review

This week I did a little travel and went to Durham, North Carolina to present at the 2013 East Coast Oracle Users Conference (aka ECO). While I have been aware of this event for over 20 years, it is the first time I have attended.

It was worth the trip. (Thanks to Jeff Smith at Oracle for alerting me to the event and encouraging me to submit). He actually sent me, Danny and Sarah (The EPM Queen). It was great to have members of the ODTUG clan together.

The gang of three - ODTUGers at ECO13 thanks to That Jeff Smith guy. Yea - he sent us!

The gang of three – ODTUGers at ECO13 thanks to That Jeff Smith guy. Yea – he sent us!

Overall a well run event held at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Conference Center. It drew over 300 attendees and a large list of Oracle ACE and ACE Directors were there to present to a crowd very eager to learn and network.

Fun and Games: The Keynote

Our opening keynote from Steven Feuerstein (inventor of the PL/SQL Challenge)  was a fun take on different types of therapy and how they might be applied to software developers.

PL/SQL Evangelist Steven Feuerstein discusses Coding Therapy for Software Developers

PL/SQL Evangelist Steven Feuerstein discusses Coding Therapy for Software Developers

His discussed the use of:

  • Game therapy (try out mastermind or
  • Dream Therapy
  • Confessional Therapy
  • Shock Therapy
  • Couples Therapy
    • For DBA & Developers
    • For Developers & Their Managers

It was a fun, light way to start the conference with some very valuable advice.

Heavy Duty DBA-type Tuning Talks

Oracle ACE Director, author, and trainer Craig Shallahamer did two deep dive tuning sessions that I attended. In the first one, Introduction to Time-based Performance Analysis: Stop the Guessing, Craig gave us his four point framework for Holistic Performance Analysis. The points were:

  1. The Three Circles to consider (OS, Database, Application)
  2. Be Quantitative (i.e., trust the numbers not a hunch)
  3. Serialization is death, Parallel is life
  4. Tell a story (make the explanation of the issue understandable to managers)

With that he got into all sorts of v$ view stuff that went mostly over my head. Needless to say I will have to download the slides from his site ( and give them to someone more attuned to this kind of tuning than I!

Oracle ACE Director, Craig Shallahamer discusses low level details for understanding Oracle CPU consumption

Oracle ACE Director, Craig Shallahamer discusses low level details for understanding Oracle CPU consumption

The second presentation Craig gave was called Understanding Oracle CPU Consumption: The Missing Link. Again lots of views and some Linux OS utilities (e.g., perf) and lots of numbers were displayed and discussed to try to ferret out how to determine what Oracle functions were actually taking up CPU time.

Even though I don’t really understand a lot of this (hey, I am a data modeler, not a dba right?) I like to go to sessions like this as I enjoy listening to smart people talk passionately about the things they do, and I figure I might retain just enough to point someone else in the right direction in the future, even if it is only to give them a copy of these slides!

Lovely Southern Style Lunch

ECO had one of the nicest little lunch buffets I have eaten in a while. Very simple southern food that included cole slaw, potato salad, baked chicken, fried chicken, pulled port (with N. Carolina bbq sauce), hush puppies and apple cobbler. (I did not say it was a light lunch right?)

I love all kinds of BBQ and the pulled pork did not disappoint. I do not usually like fried chicken but figured I should try it and was pleasantly surprised. Crisp and moist. Very nice.

Traditional Southern Fare for Lunch

Traditional Southern Fare for Lunch

My 1st Session – Making Data Modeling Fun

I had the best turnout ever for this topic with over 40 people in the session most of whom were game to try my gamification of data model review sessions.

Session attendees developing Haiku poems based on a Data Model

Session attendees developing Haiku poems based on a Data Model

One of the tasks was to translate relationship sentences and model descriptions into Haiku (or another form). There were prizes as an incentive to play along.

Some of the prizes for participants at my talk

Some of the prizes for participants at my talk

The winner by general acclamation was Edie Waite from Raleigh, NC with this little limerick:

There once was a country named France
Which had many regions for dance
The locations they chose to dance on their toes
Made employees all look askance.

The data model we used had the entities: Country, Region, Employee, Locations, and a few others.

Another Haiku from Sarah Zumbrum (a noted non-data modeler) went like this:

More than one region
Can reside in a country
Like the USA
The session was really a lot of fun thanks to everyone being open minded and being willing to try some unconventional approaches to gathering data model requirements. (There was one other Haiku in French which I will add as soon as the author sends it to me!)

ECO 13 – Day 2

Keynote today was about eBusiness suite stuff. I sat there after breakfast mostly not listening as I started to put this blog post together.

Then I did my 2nd talk.

Agile Data Warehouse Modeling

I had a somewhat disappointing turnout (only 5 people, sigh) but it was a great exchange with those 5 people. We had a very good discussion about applying agile techniques to building a data warehouse and I was able to introduce them to some of the details of Data Vault Data Modeling. None of them knew much about data vault, but some had heard the term.

One attendee did tell me he was skeptical about the approach when he came in as he was a traditional Kimball dimensional data warehouse guy. But after the session he was willing to concede there was some merit and ideas he had not seen before and he was going to take those into consideration as he embarked on a new phase of his project where there were some complex problems to solve. He could see that data vault might just help.

Really can’t ask for more than that!

Embedded Analytics

So my last session for the event was to attend Craig Warman’s talk on embedded analytics. It was a good discussion about how BI and analytics have evolved, Craig presented a simple maturity model as part of the talk:

Level 0: BI reporting and analytic applications are completely seperate from other applications
Level 1: Gateway Analytics – Operational applications have a report tab or menu item to launch the BI reporting tool interface. Maybe there is a login pass through.
Level 2: Inline Analytics – at this level, the analytics and BI tool has been incorporated into the operational application interface to the point it has the same look and feel and you can’t tell it is a separate product or tool. This where many organizations are today.
Level 3: Infused Analytics – this is the goal. At this level the analytics are truly part of the application and provide core functionality. Examples of this are the recommendations you get on Amazon as you check out or the movie suggestions you get on Netflix based on your prior movie choices. If the analytic pieces were removed the application would not function correctly.
Craig Warman (ECO13 conference chair) talks about what embedded analytics is (and is not)

Craig Warman (ECO13 conference chair) talks about what embedded analytics is (and is not)

Well that’s it for this conference.

Put ECO on your radar for 2014.

See you around.


P.S. Next conference on my agenda is RMOUG TD 2014. Let me know if you will be there.

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…


Hurry – Only 24 Hours Left to Get a Free Conference Registration

As I have written before, I love Oracle User Groups.

My two most favorite groups are the Oracle Development Tools User Group (ODTUG) and the Rocky Mountain Oracle Users Group (RMOUG).

These two groups put on what are arguably the best annual conferences for users of Oracle technology – by users, for users.

Over the past 20+ years I have attended most of their events – and NEVER paid a registration fee.

This was very helpful when my boss said there was no money for training. I just said “I get in free”.

So would you like to attend one of these events for FREE?

All you have to do is submit an abstract to present a session. If you get selected, your registration fee is waived. This is worth over $1000.

But you have to hurry, the deadline for submission is Monday October 15th, 2012.


RMOUG Training Days is  February 11-13, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. (Right in the middle of ski season!)

Go here to submit an abstract.

ODTUG’s KScope event will be June 23-27th in wonderful New Orleans.

Go here to submit an abstract.

I have submitted multiple abstracts to both events.

So what are you waiting for – go submit now!

See you in Denver and New Orleans in 2013.


P.S. My Kindle ebook  started out as a user group presentation. No telling what you might do with your presentation.

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