BI and Data Management
Jan 27 2011
A colleague introduced the term “convenience view” to me and that term resonated with me ever since. A convenience view is one of those database objects intended to make life easier for people to access data without actually understanding the nuances and relationships of those data. Convenience views frequently join multiple tables together so data users will not need to code or optimize those joins. Convenience views may also include business logic which transforms data so end users will not need to code or argue those transformations. The concept seems noble enough. Who opposes simple data access, optimized joins and centralized business rules? Just like that store that sells everything right off the interstate, convenience comes at a cost.
One obvious cost is all of those optimized joins. Sure each individual join may be optimized, but the database engine has to collectively consider all available join options before an execution
Jan 24 2011
I've worked with health care data for the past few years, and in a recent conversation I realized it might be valuable to detail some of the complexities of health care data for those who might enter this growing field. Of course these considerations aren't unique to health care, but they are typical of the challenges that the new health care application developer or analyst might face.
Jan 24 2011
One of the key skills needed in today’s IT shop is communication, and one of the best ways to improve ability to communicate is to write blog posts and articles.
In spite of “IT guy” stereotypes, communication and analytical thinking about business are among the most important skills in application development. Developers, analysts, and managers require ability to interact effectively with business people, to conceptualize solutions that match business needs, critically evaluate those solutions, and effectively make the case for one of them. Of course this is true of the overall project business case, but more importantly it applies to the daily “IT guy” to business person conversations that happen throughout analysis, design, development, and testing.
Cultivating writing skills is one way to cultivate effective communication. Often, writers start a piece with “it all worked out in their head”.
Jan 19 2011
At first glance, hosting applications in the cloud seems to require less setup and operational cost, which accounts for its great appeal. That said, the world is still trying to make sense of how cloud computing can really fit into the enterprise computing puzzle in the midst of so many of the complex challenges we face, like the ever increasing needs for security, continuing dependency on age old legacy systems, ever increasing uncertainty in the current troubling global economic situation, and more. Nevertheless, one thing that is quite clear to me is that cloud computing during this economic uncertainty does offer a great new hope for organizations if only for its “pay as you go” approach.
Jan 19 2011
Writing SQL queries is as much about getting the right results as writing a query that’s readable, performs well, and is easy to test.