BI and Data Management
Jan 12 2011
When I design a database, and local standards permit, I include both a surrogate primary key and audit columns on every table.
A surrogate primary key is a system-generated integer that increments by one with each new row inserted. Most DBMSs make it easy to add surrogate keys. Oracle uses a construct called a Sequence, SQL Server calls its variant an Identity.
The audit columns I like to include are these, shown with their SQL Server datatypes: CreationDatetime (datetime), UpdateDatetime (datetime), CreationUserId (varchar (30)), and UpdateUserid (varchar (30)). Most DBMS’s offer the ability to update columns like these with either default values or triggers.
Jan 06 2011
In the spirit of the New Year I thought I would make some predictions on what I think will happen in the Business Intelligence space in 2011. Companies have an overwhelming amount of data to mine, and with maturing BI tools, cheap processing power and low cost storage aplenty it should allow companies to quickly advance their analytical capabilities in the coming year.
Jan 06 2011
Recently my friend Mark Hudson posted about the inappropriateness of the term “sprint” for an agile project phase, preferring the cycling term “interval.” That post really struck a chord with me.
Dec 28 2010
After months or even years of hard work on a project, it is often easy to forget the final push into a production environment. After all the investment of time and effort that goes in to an IT project, having the project considered a failure due to a poor or failed implementation is not acceptable. The good news is that this risk can be mitigated by creating an hour by hour or even minute by minute implementation plan.
Dec 09 2010
This is a repost of the attached article first published in the PMI Virtual Library.
In the consulting world, project estimation is a critical component required for the delivery of a successful project. If you estimate correctly, you will deliver a project on time and within budget; get it wrong and you could end up over budget, with an unhappy client and a burned out team. Project estimation for business intelligence and data integration projects is especially difficult, given the number of stakeholders involved across the organization as well as the unknowns of data complexity and quality. Add to this mix a firm fixed price RFP (request for proposal) response for a client your organization has not done work for and you have the perfect climate for a poor estimate. In this article, I share my thoughts about the best way to approach a project estimate for an extract, transform load (ETL) project.