Wrapping Up TDWI – Agile? You Bet. And You Should.

I’ve posted twice about TDWI’s San Diego event, and I still haven’t exhausted the thoughts I wanted to share. That’s a measure of just how important and successful I think the show was. Three things jumped out at me:

  • The audience is back, and it’s ready to spend. The event was buzzing; I was told by organizers that the numbers significantly exceeded expectations. That was easy to see; speeches, booths, and hallways were packed. Vendors told me booth traffic was great, and that visitors (although typically not budget holders) were in or preparing for projects and product acquisitions.
  • The hunger for content continues. In my session and in others, I saw show-of-hands responses to questions like “how many of you have been here before?” “How many of you have built this kind of system?” “How many of you have been trained on [pick a DW-related topic]?”  The responses made it clear that like other TDWI events I’ve been to, this one was packed with people who were new or intermediate users with training in mind. TDWI’s basic training mission has never been healthier.
  • Agile matters. A lot. My first post on the event was put up rather quickly and as the event progressed, I heard the theme flesh out well, with real stories from users who applied the techniques to their projects. My initial impression that we might be looking at another buzzword poorly applied was wrong. Agile’s real, and TDWI’s coverage and guidance is rich and well worth investigating. The vendors? Well, they’re doing what they always do. Caveat emptor. I repeat: it’s not an adjective.  Learn what it means and apply it. You can’t buy it. Read more of this post

More TDWI Notes – ParAccel Rolling On, HP Stalled, Vertica Leading Insurgents

On my second day at TDWI, I was in meetings all day – events like this are a great opportunity for analysts to catch up with many of the companies they follow at one time, and this particular one was packed with sponsors. Congrats to the folks who sell sponsorships – they had a packed exhibit hall, and a lot of very interested attendees. I got a chance to chat at a few booths (all buzzing), ask a few attendees some real-world questions (and was asked some surprising ones myself), and get a sense of the workload in the trenches (heavy and growing.)

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TDWI Event Focuses on Agile BI. What’s That?

I’m at the Data Warehouse Institute’s San Diego conference this week, and experimenting with an incremental approach to blogging for this event; I’ll try to get on a few times in the next 2 days (unfortunately that’s all the time I’ll have here) and communicate some quick thoughts, as opposed to my more typical style, which is longer and more in depth. That will no doubt follow on many of the topics later.

I begin with the keynote from Wayne Eckerson this morning, where he offered his thoughts on Agile BI. Agile is a loaded word; for developers it means a very specific set of techniques and methodologies. Data folk are not part of that culture in most cases, and they use the word as an adjective. Wayne attempted to bridge the gap in a few places, but by and large, his hints at best practices were not particularly new, or surprising, or tied closely to the Agile playbook. Read more of this post

Will AEP Replace RDBMS? A Dialogue With Charles Brett

Analytic Event Processing (AEP) is hot. But does it mean RDBMS begins to decline in importance? Charles Brett of C3B Consulting and I recently had a quick dialogue about it and came up with different conclusions. That conversation is reproduced here. It’s only the beginning – l hope you will weigh in with your thoughts. Read more of this post

Lively LinkedIn TDWI Discussions Exemplify Community IP Values

I’m not normally a fan of blog posts that do little more than talk about information available elsewhere. But I’m going to make an exception, because what TDWI has been able to do of late on LinkedIn has generated a good deal of conversation, information sharing and intriguing conclusions. Kudos to Wayne Eckerson for his efforts at getting this going as well as evangelizing it. Read more of this post

TDWI Disappoints, But There is Hope Ahead

Few events offer as much promise as The Data Warehouse Institute World Conferences. With a deep educational focus, TDWI provides important opportunities for users. For vendors, the event offers one of the most focused, serious prospect audiences possible. My expectations, tempered though they were by economic realities, were still fairly high for this year’s San Diego event. Unfortunately, the drop in volume was greater than all of us expected, the number of announcements from the vendor community was low, and the content focus seemed a bit out of date.

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TDWI and Wi-fi on San Diego Bay

The Data Warehouse Institute (TDWI) came to San Diego this year, with a sharply reduced crowd but a few intriguing announcements and a crew of attendees determined to get value out of a rich set of educational offerings and informal and formal discussions. I had the privilege of sitting on a panel with analyst and consultant Mark Madsen and Ken Hausman of SAS, hosted by Gaurav Verma, also from SAS, and discussing doing more with less. We did some flash polling using technology provided by Turning Point and gained a few insights from several dozen attendees in the room. Read more of this post

Vertica Gathers Momentum with New Release

Vertica, one of the fastest growing analytic database players, with nearly 100 installations in just two years, announced its new version 3.0 at TDWI this week. Dave Menninger, VP of Marketing, was kind enough to sit down with IT Market Strategy and offer a preview last week, since I could not attend the TDWI event. Dave joined in September of 2008 and has been going a mile a minute ever since, keeping up with a formidable team that includes Mike Stonebraker and Jerry Held, with Don Haderle and Ray Lane acting as advisors. If you don’t know who those folks are, you need to spend some time learning history! Google them. Read more of this post

Ralph Kimball’s TDWI Crowd Shows DW & BI are Thriving

The economy may be challenging, but 100 attendees on a weekday afternoon in San Francisco proved that there is plenty of interest in data warehousing. The Silicon Valley Chapter of the Data Warehouse Institute (TDWI) drew a sizable, energetic group to its quarterly meeting.

No doubt the presence of Ralph Kimball, a seminal and influential thinker, had a lot to do with the success, Read more of this post