MDM Architecture Styles – Do you have the right mix?

(Updated October 2018) What is the right MDM architecture style for your organization? It’s definitely an open-ended question that deserves an informed answer, especially before making new investment decisions. But before tackling the question, it is useful to define and understand the MDM styles themselves. Dr. Dave Waddington of The Information Difference defined four broad styles in an article published in Information Management. If you follow the MDM space, you’ll see similar descriptions from most of the MDM industry analysts.
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What’s The Real Burden in ETL?

Readers of our corporate blog and followers of the Kalido message know we have been promoting “No ETL” in the context of data warehousing. Inevitably this leads to ETL tool vendor outrage at the notion that you don’t need ETL. So let me be clear: we believe you will always need the concept of Extract, Transform and Load. However, most ETL tools do not automate many data integration concepts – they just provide a mechanism for a human to create that manually. Our approach is to keep the concept of ETL – extract data from multiple sources, transform it and then load that data into the data warehouse tables – but to automate this process. With Kalido, you don’t always need a separate ETL tool to do it. Read more

The less things change, the more they stay the same

In 2012, we surveyed attendees at TDWI World Conferences regarding topics related to data warehousing: how they handle change, how long it takes to deploy new data, costs associated with supporting the data warehouse and so on. Over this period we received well over 500 responses and have blogged about it and shared information in other places such as infographics on our website. Read more

Where’s My Magic Quadrant?

When I got involved with Kalido over 15 years ago, we had big plans to change the world of data warehousing, and we still do.  However, one frustration we’ve had over the years is recognition from the major analyst firms that how we build data warehouses is fundamentally different and merits a “Quadrant” or “Wave” of our own.  In a nutshell, we think that the old way of building models with ER modeling tools, having DBAs create physical tables from those models, and then hardcoding the population of those tables with an ETL tool can never allow a business to be as agile as they need to be. Read more

Dear Data Scientist: Your Data Warehouse Is Blurring Your Vision

Look at the blurry image. If I gave you until the end of the day, could you tell me what it is? The patterns in the data tell you that “something” is there, but what? Iteratively increasing the pixels in the field of interest—resolution–brings those patterns into focus. Each iteration makes it clearer. Read more

Estimating Velocity

Velocity is perhaps the most important concept in agile development. In his recent Agile 101 class at the TDWI BI Summit in San Diego, Ralph Hughes defined velocity as “The number of story points that can be delivered comfortably in an iteration.” That estimate effects many other estimates, such as the size and mix of your teams, as well as the number of iterations needed to deliver the full project scope—all of which impact the budget. Read more

Kalido and Anchor Modeling (AM)

Someone asked me my opinion of Anchor Modeling, and I had to admit that I hadn’t really looked at it in detail.  I’m not sure why — at first glance, “Almost 6th Normal Form” modified using a practical approach and software automation should be right in wheelhouse of people who work at Kalido! Read more

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

I was at a standstill on a blog that I alluded to in my previous Thick as a Brick submission when I ran across a similar theme from Jonathan Feldman on Information Week Global CIO, No One Likes Petulant Teenagers.  The premise that I alluded to was that many CIOs are in the business of damage control and thus have no bandwidth left to be visionary. Read more

Is Your Agile Warehouse Project Stuck in Second Gear?

The first twenty-plus years of data warehouse projects yielded failure rates above fifty percent, and the waterfall methodology took much of the blame. Ironically, as Ralph Hughes points out in his book Agile Data Warehousing Project Management, the waterfall methodology itself was based on a “grievous misreading” of another work. Dr. Royce’s 1970 white paper Managing the Development of Large Software Systems had called for a more iterative approach to systems development than the circa-1985 waterfall methodology it inspired. Read more

But the wise man don’t know how it feels…

Who am I to let a good theme die?  Kudos to Jim Harris for his excellent follow up on his “Brickyard Chaos” blog with an even more insightful “Another Brick in the Wall” blog ( I love the Pink Floyd reference).  Truth be told, I’m a bigger classic rock fan than I am a NASCAR fan, thus the association of this blog to the epic “Thick as a Brick” from one of my personal favorites Jethro Tull.  Read more