Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What do Data People do?

I find it an interesting time in the days of data. I see how companies are changing and how they are embracing the data revolution and some others are not. What I do see is that there is a thirst for data and for the consumption of data in a meaningful way.

The terminology we use is changing along with the technology we use. Last week someone asked me what I did. I said I was a data architect; this was caught with a blank stare. So I then change my tact and tell people if do “Business Reporting and Analytics”. This they seem to understand.. at least the reporting part. For most people analytics is some form of math which they may be learned in a Statistics class, but didn’t really understand how it worked. The key was they passed the test. For most they consider it something they heard about in the news.

So it got me thinking, what am I? What is my job? I think there are numerous terms that might describe what I data people do today or maybe we just want to make the job of pushing numbers all day sound sexy. Here’s what I and other have come up with:

  • Data Warehouse Architect
  • Data Guru
  • Information Technician
  • Data Scientist
  • Data Analyst
  • Analytics Geek
  • Information Shark
  • Information Jockey

The ideas are endless just like the information we use. As the non-data people begin to see the power of data as information becomes served up to the everyday person, I will need to explain what I do. No title will summarize it well. Basically I tell people I collect data and draw nice pictures with the data and that always seems to make people happy, which is a good thing.

Don`t forget to join me at Oracle OpenWorld in October for my presentation about Big Data and the challenges and outlook.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

2011 IOUG/Oracle Real World Performance Tour in Toronto – Not Your Regular Seminar

There are some training events people should make every effort to attend because they are valuable and unique. This upcoming Toronto seminar is one of those occasions where you need to find some time. I hope many of you can join me at the upcoming IOUG Real World Performance Tour as it arrives in Toronto on September 9th, 2011.


Tickets are on sale now for 2011 the Toronto stop of the Oracle Real World Performance Tour – featuring Tom Kyte, author of the famed AskTom blog; Andrew Holdsworth, head of Oracle's Real World Performance Team; and Graham Wood, legendary Oracle Database performance architect.

Buy Tickets:

Friday, Sept 9 - Toronto

Radisson Toronto East


Sound like an ordinary workshop? Think again.

This interactive performance engineering event features the rivaling perspectives of three Oracle rock stars and dueling screen projector presentations for a fun and different educational experience. Get a sneak peek by checking out the video from the first leg of the tour.

Past participants have praised the Real World Performance Tour for:

“Insight into how we handle different systems” Arizona fan review

“Got some ideas how to improve performance even without upgrading to 11 g” L.A. fan review

“Tuning nowadays vs. two versions ago; very reasonable price” L.A. fan review

Oracle Real World Performance Tour

Jam Sessions | 9 – 5 p.m. | $175 IOUG Members | $225 Non-Members

Discounted rates for COLLABORATE 11 attendees
All IOUG COLLABORATE 11 attendee will receive discounted access to these world-class experts - enter the code you received via separate email to get the special rate of $150 USD!

Discounted Group registration for 3+ Attendees
Register at least 3 days prior to the event (no onsite bookings)


Friday, August 5, 2011

Big Data is Curious

I was watching a TV show about Studs Terkel, a man who wrote about American life. His story is an interesting one. One statement I heard on the show was:

“Not everyone has a depth of curiosity.
And not everyone has depth of understanding”

I found this a interesting comment and one that I relate to in my everyday world. It is so true that data is expanding faster than our ability to analyze it. This is where Big Data comes in and together with an Agile approach to development can form and important part of a data solution. The ability to collect more structured and unstructured data gives us the ability to feed our curiosity. It is imperative that today’s analysts have the same curiosity as the ancient explorers. Curiosity is opportunity to learn; to discover, this is where real innovation happens. We must use Big Data to gather information to feed the need for understanding. We need to find meaning in this information and exploring it in a dynamic way can support this need. So we look to Big Data to provide this sandbox of data for analysis and knowledge.

There are concerns with Big Data which we also need to address. Security is one of the biggest concerns for most organization. So now we need to look at Big Data and how it is deployed. Often we look to create Clouds of data, but is this data secure? Is this data protected? The danger with collecting more information is how and what to protect? This is a new challenge and if we are to succeed in getting data more accessible and more useable we also need to ensure it is protected. We are seeing that as big data matures and Hadoop continues to become mainstream, we are seeing products needed to support these requirements.

So as the technology advances and our curiosity grows we will be able to create solutions which will provide a robust ability for analysts to gain business understandings.