Bob Lambert

Jazz on the harmonica

Category: IT

  • Values and Behaviors of the Successful Agilist

    Of course, any discussion of Agile values starts with the Agile Manifesto. The first sentence declares that Agile development is about seeking better ways and helping others. Then, as if espousing self-evident truths, the founders present four relative value statements. Finally, they emphasize appropriate balance, saying that the relatively less valued items aren’t worthless: implying…

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  • Escaping Teradata Purgatory (Select Failed. [2646] No more spool space)

    Also see the related post More on “Select Failed. [2646] No more spool space” If you are a SQL developer or data analyst working with Teradata, it is likely you’ve gotten this error message: “Select Failed. [2646] No more spool space”. Roughly speaking, Teradata “spool” is the space DBAs assign to each user account as…

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  • The Practical Metadata Business Case

    Even now the business case for a metadata tool seems unclear and difficult to quantify, but it isn’t impossible. We in the data management business tend to devalue solutions that don’t clearly derive from a coherent top-level view. We seek applications defined from an enterprise architecture, database designs from an enterprise data model, and data…

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  • Reporting Database Design Guidelines: Dimensional Values and Strategies

    I recently found myself in a series of conversations in which I needed to make a case for dimensional data modeling. The discussions involved a group of highly skilled data architects who were surely familiar with dimensional techniques but didn’t see them as the best solution in the case at hand. I thought it would…

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  • Data Quality, Evolved

    Data quality doesn’t have to be a train wreck. Increased regulatory scrutiny, NoSQL performance gains, and the needs of data scientists are quietly changing views and approaches toward data quality. The result: a pathway to optimism and data quality improvement. Here’s how you can get on the new and improved data quality train in each of those…

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  • Analytics Requirements: Avoid a Y2.xK Crisis

    Even though it happens annually, teams building new visualizations often forget to think about the effects of turning over from one year to another. In today’s fast paced, Agile world, requirements for even the most critical dashboards and visualizations tend to evolve, and development often proceeds iteratively from a scratchpad sketch through successively more detailed…

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  • Protect Your Culture: Screening for authoritarian project leaders

    It’s fashionable today to talk about the risks of authoritarianism in the political sphere. I’m not going to speculate on that, but such talk got me thinking about the same tendencies among IT project leaders. What is an authoritarian personality? (Yes, that’s actually a thing.) Is it truly antithetical to a healthy project? If so, how…

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  • More on the Agile Architect: Process and Knowledge Transfer

    I’ve written about groupthink-related quality challenges on Agile projects, and the architect’s role in preventing groupthink from degrading quality. I’ve seen other risks related to the cohesion and potential insularity of successful Agile teams, and the architect is also well positioned to help prevent these: a tendency to neglect setting up and documenting repeatable processes, and a…

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  • Levels of Trust in Data Governance: It’s Not All or Nothing

    The term “trust” implies absolutes, and that’s a good thing for relationships and art. However, in the business of data management, framing trust in data in true or false terms puts data governance at odds with good practice. A more nuanced view that recognizes the usefulness of not-fully-trusted data can bring vitality and relevance to…

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  • Five Thoughts On Data Management Maturity

    Recently I’ve had the opportunity to dig deeply into the CMMI Data Management Maturity model. Since its release, the DMM model has emerged as the de facto standard data management maturity framework (I’ve listed other frameworks at the end of this post). I’m deeply impressed by the completeness and polish of the DMM model as…

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