Browsing articles in "Events"

Follow Live: Data Field Day 1

May 13, 2015   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Data, DLBlog, Events  //  1 Comment

Data Field Day One logo


This week I’m part of an exciting tour of northern California tech companies who focus on data technologies.  During these visits, you can watch via a live stream right here.  Watch for the stream to start later today at 1:30PM PDT.

For more information about the event, you can check out

There will be 8 other delegates joining me in these meetings.  We’ll hear non-sales pitch presentations from the technical staff of these companies and get to ask questions.

Of course we have a hashtag #DFD1, so you can follow there.  Even ask some questions.




Your Master Data is a Graph: Are You Ready? Whitepaper, Webinar

Apr 27, 2015   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Data, Data Modeling, Database, Events, NoSQL, Speaking  //  1 Comment

Neo4j White Paper: Your Master Data Is a Graph: Are You Ready?I recently wrote a whitepaper, sponsored by Neo4j, on how your master data (think cross-application data like CUSTOMER, PRODUCT, ORGANIZATION, etc.) is much more valuable to your organization if you can leverage the relationships between the data.  You might think that relational databases are all about relationships, but they aren’t.  The relational in relational database comes from the fact that data is a relation (a table-like structure of columns and rows).

The best thing we have for describing relationships in a relational database is a foreign key (FK).  An FK is a constraint between two tables.  In a relational database, FKs enforce integrity between exactly two tables.  But in the real world, relationships are more than constraints.  They are implied, inferred and, maybe even just plausible.  That’s not a constraint; that’s a relationship.  And these relationships often exist because they span multiple tables.  Think about CUSTOMERs that are related because they live at ADDRESSes near each other, they have TRANSACTIONs at the same RETAIL STORE and they buy the same PRODUCTs and SERVICEs.  That’s a specific relationship, one that has nothing to do with foreign keys.

You can download my whitepaper at

Note that while Neo Technology sponsored this paper, they had no editorial control over its content.


This week I’m also doing a webinar about some of the content of the paper.  Kamile Nixon of Neo Technology will join me in this discussion.  You can register at

I think this one will be a lot of fun. Kamile and I have worked together on many things over the years. She and I share the same sort of sense of humour. You have been warned.


Webinar: Your Master Data is a Graph: Are You Ready?

Thursday, April 30 at 09:00 PDT | 18:00 CEST


As you tackle your ongoing Master Data Management challenges, it’s important to keep a few things in mind: Hierarchies don’t really exist Relational isn’t about relationships Foreign keys aren’t relationships, but constraints It’s crazy, isn’t it?

Join Master Data Management expert Karen Lopez and Neo Technology’s Kami Nixon as they discuss today’s MDM requirements and explore the companies that are getting MDM right.

In this webinar, you will learn:

  • Why hierarchies aren’t real
  • How to choose the right technology for the stories your data wants to tell, so your business can use data in ways it couldn’t do before
  • Why relationships are just as important as the things they relate
  • What foreign keys really do to your architecture
  • How companies like Cisco and Polyvore use graphs to get real business value from Master Data

Karen LopezKaren Lopez, Data Evangelist, InfoAdvisors

Karen Lopez has more than 20 years of data architecture and database design experience. She specializes in the practical application of design approaches, balancing development time frames with the need to deliver solutions that will support business agility and data quality needs. Known for her practical and sometimes snarky views on the data world, Karen works to find the right tools for the job, even if it means learning something new. She wants you to love your data.


Kami NixonKami Nixon, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Neo Technology

A recipient of the 2012 “Graphie”, Kamille was a fan of Neo4j for several years before she happily joined the team. Kamille has helped several successful database companies (DataStax, Comindware and Embarcadero Technologies) to identify and execute on market trends so they could pull ahead of the pack. Her efforts have led to doubled vertical bookings, increases by 30% to 100% in year-over-year revenue, and several awards. In addition to the Graphie, Kamille has received several other commendations, including co-authoring with Karen Lopez story #5 in Information Management’s Top 10 for 2011, and Best Investigative Journalism in a national competition.

Big Data, NoSQL and Data Modeling: Big Challenges in Data Modeling

Jun 24, 2014   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Data, Data Modeling, Database, Database Design, Events, NoSQL, Speaking  //  No Comments

Database table

Big data and NoSQL have led to big changes In the data environment, but are they all in the best interest of data? Are they technologies that "free us from the harsh limitations of relational databases?" as I recently blogged about at

In this month’s webinar (register now), we will be answering questions like these, plus:

  • Have we managed to free organizations from having to do data modeling?
  • Is there a need for a data modeler on NoSQL projects?
  • If we build data models, which types will work?
  • If we build data models, how will they be used?
  • If we build data models, when will they be used?
  • Who will use data models?
  • Where does data quality happen?
  • Are there NoSQL technologies for which data modeling will never apply?

Finally, we will wrap with 10 tips for data modelers in organizations incorporating NoSQL in their modern data architectures.

Join NoSQL expert extraordinaire Dan McCreary ( blog ) and others (including YOU!) as we talk about the future of data modeling and data modelers this Thursday, 26 June, at 2PM EDT.

We’ll also have some prizes to give a way, so plan on attending live.


(BTW, don’t get me started on the lame modeling styles/naming standards in stock photography.  Maybe I should start making some for Getty Images?)

This Thursday, Big Challenges in Data Modeling: The Need for Speed #BCDModeling

May 20, 2014   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Data, Data Modeling, Events, Project Management, Speaking  //  1 Comment



22 May 2014, 2PM EDT

It’s May, which sets this former Hoosier thinking of racetracks and Indy cars. I’m also a runner and that means I’m always thinking about pace and timings…and feeling guilty about not training hard enough.

This got me musing about how data modelers can speed up the data modeling process — not just during a development projects, but at all points in our work day. So let’s have a discussion about

In this month’s webinar, we’ll talk about:

  • The Need for Speed
  • Sprints, marathons and training
  • Race cars, horses, carts, and feet
  • Qualifiers and Races
  • Pace cars
  • Backseat drivers
  • Rules, tickets and enforcement
  • Fads, gadgets and automation
  • Red, yellow, green and checkered flags
  • How do you know when to stop racing?


Joining me in the discussion will be two wonderful panellists:

Donna Burbank

Donna Burbank, VP, Information Management Services at Enterprise Architects ( @donnaburbank )

Carol Lehn

Carol Lehn, MDM Database Designer at PepsiCo ( @lehnca )

And as usual, our attendees will have the opportunity to participate via chat and Q&A as our final panellist.


What about XP, Agile, SCRUM, Lean…? #EDW2014

Mar 31, 2014   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Data Modeling, Events, Speaking  //  No Comments

At the upcoming Enterprise Data World 2014, I’ll be doing a half-day presentation on Driving Development Projects with Enterprise Data Models

Here are a few teases for what we will be talking about:





The Abstract:

Monday, April 28, 2014
08:30 AM – 11:45 AM


Join this session to see how data fits in real-world enterprise development projects. We’ll answer such questions as:

  • "Who does what?"
  • "Why are we doing this?"
  • "Will it slow things down?”
  • “Will it work with agile development?”
  • "Will I have to actually talk to a data architect?"
  • “What about the Cloud?”
  • "What are the biggest mistakes teams make?"
  • "Will I still have a job?"

The session will feature demos of common data modeling-to-database processes, including reverse engineering, forward engineering, generating DDL, alter scripts, and more. You will leave with 10 tips for making model-driven database development successful in your organization’s culture and environment.

Join Me at Enterprise Data World and Save $200 + $200

Conference Session Photo

I’ve been attending Enterprise Data World for more than 15 years.  This event, focused on data architectures, data management, data modeling data governance and other great enterprise-class methods is part technical training and part revival for data professionals.  It’s just that good.

This year the big bash is being held in Austin, TX, a thriving tech-oriented community, 27-April to 1 May.  And this year’s theme is “The Transformation to Data-Driven Business Starts Here.”

And right now there’s a $200 Early Bird Discount going…plus if you use coupon code “DATACHICK” you can save $200 more on a multi-day registration or fifty bucks on a one day pass.  There.  I just saved you $400.  And no, I get no kickbacks with this discount code.  I don’t need them.  I need you to be at this event, sharing your knowledge and meeting other data professionals. I need you to be part of the community of data professionals.

Top 10 Reasons You Need to Go to EDW 2014

  1. Data is HOT HOT HOT.  I deemed 2013 The Year of Data and I see no signs that organizations are going to back to software-is-everything thinking.  2014 is still going to be a year full of data. There’s even an executive, invitation-only CDOvision even co-located.
  2. Not Just Bullet Points.  There are over 20 hours of scheduled networking events for you to chat with other data-curious people.  Chatting with other data professionals is my favourite part of this event.  Bring your business cards…er… .vcs contact file.
  3. Lots of Expertise. Not just data celebrities, but also other data professionals with thousands of hours of hands-on experiences, sharing their use cases around data.  And not just data modeling.  Big Data.  Analytics.  Methods.  Tools.  Open Data.  Governance. NoSQL. SQL. RDBMS. Fun.
  4. Certifications.  You can take advantage of the Pay-Only-If-You-Pass option for the CDMP on-site certification testing.
  5. Workshops. I’m doing a half day tutorial on Driving Development Projects with Enterprise Data Models.  I’ll be talking about how data models fit within real-life, practical, get-stuff-done development projects. No ivory towers here.
  6. SIGs.  There are special interest groups on data modeling products, industries and methods. You can meet people just like you an share your tips and tricks for data lovin.  I will be leading the ER/Studio SIG.
  7. Ice Cream.  This conference has a tradition of the ice cream break on the exhibit floor.  Nice ice cream, even.
  8. Austin. Austin is one of the more vibrant cities in Texas.  So cool, it even has a Stevie Ray Vaughan statue. Museums, Theatres, indoor golf, clubs.  There’s a reason why SxSW is held here.
  9. Vendors. Yes, we love them, too.  Meet the product teams of the makers of the tools you use every day.  Or meet new teams and ask for a demo.  They are good people.
  10. Love Your Data.  There’s no better way to show your love than to network with other data professionals and learn from industry leaders.

Come learn how to help your organization love data better.  You might even see me in a lightning talk holding a martini.  Or taking impromptu pics of @data_model and other data professionals.  Or debating data management strategy with people from around the globe.  In other words, talking data. With people who love their data.  Join us.

5 February–Panel: Myths, Misunderstandings and Successes in Data Analytics

Feb 4, 2014   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Analytics, Blog, Events, NoSQL, Speaking  //  No Comments

Panel Brochure

On Thursday 5 February at 5:00 PM EST I’ll be moderating a panel on Myths, Misunderstandings and Successes in Data Analytics as part of the PASS Business Analytics 24 Hours of PASS preview.  It’s free, but you need to register.  And I have a fantastic set of panelists: Stacia Misner, Joey D’Antoni and Lynn Langit.

imageSpeaker(s)Karen Lopez  Stacia Misner  Joseph D’Antoni  Lynn Langit

Duration: 60 minutes

Track: Strategy and Architecture

Big Data, Business Analytics, Data Analytics, NoSQL, Relational . . . do we even agree on what we mean by those terms? In this panel session, industry thought leaders will discuss and debate the most common myths, truths, and mostly-truths of new and traditional approaches for enterprise data management and analytics.

We’ll be leaving time for questions from the audience, so come ready with your myths and stories.

Accompanying Materials:

Yes, there’s 24 hours of goodness spread out over 2 days, so check out the other sessions.


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