Monday, September 19, 2016

SQL Saturday - Analytics/Machine Learning/R...

I had the opportunity to attend the SQL Saturday Event in Charlotte, NC on September 17, 2016. The event was very organized and hosted by a hard working/talented team of volunteers. There were a variety of topics spread across different aspects of SQL Server, Business Intelligence and Data Analytics. There were 3 sessions which I found very informative and Interesting. The 3 Topics were across Data Analytics, Machine Learning and Master Data Management (Microsoft).
The first topic which i attended was from SQL Server/Data Analytics Expert Jen Underwood (Please visit her excellent blog for more information/trends in Analytics), the topic was on trends in the Analytics Industry. The topic covered  the skill sets/domains currently hot/growing in the Data Analytics/Big Data space. There were interesting demos on how certain jobs can be automated,also how robots are beginning to permeate different as aspects of human life and how they are helping out in areas of customer is a link to robot video which has human like expressions and interactions:
Robotics. The interesting aspect of this demo is that rather being just machine like, the robot interacts in a very human like fashion. These type of robots could replace jobs that can be easily automated. There were other aspects covered about the cloud, Machine Learning and Predictive Analytics. One of the other interesting area that was mentioned was the area of immersive data visualization. This is where the concept of 3-D visualizations can be used to analyze and understand data. One of the visualizations that was shown was the stock market rise and fall during the past several years, also it showed the crash of the stock market in 2008 in a roller coaster ride simulation. Here is the link for the demo: is a  virtual reality guided tour of 21 years of the Nasdaq, very interesting concept. One of the thoughts that went through my mind was that how much of such visualizations would work in certain types of business/organizations. On the whole the topic was very informative with respect to what is coming in the Data Analytics space and how one needs to be prepared.
The second session was on Master Data Management by Rushabh Mehta (SQL Server Expert, Past SQL Pass President, Independent Consultant/CEO). This topic was a presentation on the very important but often ignored topic of data management. In this presentation Rishabh went through why Master Data management is important and discussed one of the projects he did for his client. In this project he explained the process of data Cleansing, how records could de-duplicated and usage of standardized services from Melissa Data Services. Melissa Data Services provides services around Address, Name Standardization, these are very useful when one tries to created a master record for a customer. Here is the link for Melissa and the services they offer: The session also provided insights into how a master record could be created for companies, here services offered by Dun and Bradstreet were used. Overall session was very informative and conveyed the importance of Master Data Management.
The third session which i found very useful was the Session on Machine Learning with R by Paco Gonzalez,Corporate Center of Excellence, Program Manager at SolidQ. The session was very informative and very nicely presented. Paco Touched upon how tweets from twitter can be imported and analyzed to determine the sentiment of a particular topic/product being discussed. He took an example of product that was being sold in a online cloth retailer website and how tweets regarding this particular product can be scanned to understand whether folks are talking good or bad about the product. He mentioned that one would get the feeds from twitter and also request Twitter for data relating to particular has tags. Paco also presented case studies on how Machine learning can be used to determine if a particular would be with a bank or leave the bank. He demonstrated how past patterns can be used to train a model and use test data to determine the accuracy of the bank model. The R integration with SQL Server 2016 seems to be very interesting and exciting, now one has the power of getting predictive results by executing stored procedures.
There was demo of the Microsoft Cognitive Services that can be used for analysis of text, face and emotions:
here is the link:
Overall a very exciting SQL Saturday and a very good information gathering session.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Data Virtualization-Data Conditioning/Masking

These days business are expected to agile and have to deliver solutions quickly and efficiently. This means that while developing products it has to be moved through the different environments efficiently and quickly. There is also a lot of dependency on data in the test and lower level environments. The quality of data in the test environments need to good so that the applications using the data can be tested effectively. Often organizations run into challenges while populating data in Lower level environments either due to space issues and just the time taken to condition data takes a very long time, this thereby affects product delivery. This where products that specialize data virtualization come in. Delphix is one such product which enables organizations to effectively get production type data in test environments.  Here is the website for the product: According to the website: "Speed wins. It’s a simple fact. The faster you can deliver new applications, features and upgrades to market, the better your business performs. For that you need faster data. And for faster data, you need Delphix.".  Please refer to the link below which explains the need for having such a product. As the nature of application development keeps changing, the quality of data needed for testing and other pre-production activities becomes very important and essential.