Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Wednesday Breakout Sessions

Highlights from the Wednesday breakout sessions so far.

Pushdown Optimization
One of the newest (and most promising in my opinion) features of PowerCenter 8 is pushdown optimization - the feature that allows you to choose parts of a mapping that could be "pushed down" onto the source or target database. For instance, you might have a simple mapping that just pulls data out of one table, does some lookups, an aggregation, and loads that back into a database table. In our case, we do things like this alot to build data marts. Well, we've got a new data warehouse platform that has much more powerful hardware and we're consolidating those datamarts onto the single database instance. Sure, I could lose all my metadata and replace those mapping with an SQL statement... but wouldn't it be better to just have PowerCenter optimize the workload by pushing it onto the database. Of course, I can do this selectively. If I want to do something off database I can, but this technology option really opens up PowerCenter's traditional ETL model into the ELT space that some database vendors might suggest you take a closer look at for certain types of operations.

Speaking of Teradata, they presented a session about Active Data Warehousing and Active Enterprise Intelligence. The trend that Teradata is discussing in the industry, is the ability for a data warehouse (which presents an intelligence opportunity) to become actively enabled in such a way that they intelligence that businesses derive from that system can do so in a more real-time, tactical, operational, or automated way. The idea behind the talk was an opportunity curve: As time increases through the chain of business event, data acquisition, information discover, and business response; the potential value of a that response decreases, eventually to the point that the business has completely missed the opportunity. Reducing that path from business event to reponse is one key to making active decisions. The second key is to make intelligent decisions... business intelligence is embedded in a mature data warehouse. Therefore active enterprise intelligence comes from the process of activating an enterprise warehouse. Sounds simple enough... except when you see the pulsating, flashing slides in the Teradata presentation!

As Sohaib likes to say: this is hard work and you all deserve raises!


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