Making Data Management Relevant to the Next Generation of IT Graduates

Data Management has a PR problem. Many developers view data management as being orthogonal to their own goals. An unfortunate adversarial relationship has emerged within many IT organizations and software companies. Furthermore the Agile movement, with its emphasis on generalists, has put the onus of data architecture on these same developers who are often indifferent to enterprise data management.

Unfortunately, most Computer Science and IT graduates are never taught the relevance of Data Management as it pertains to the “big picture”. Daniel Pink’s latest book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, shows how important it is to provide relevance to students’ education.

When data models are built without regard for data quality, information sharing, and reporting, everybody loses. By making Data Management relevant to software developers, Neil Hepburn believes data architecture as whole will improve, bringing with it a plethora of benefits.

In this presentation, Neil will explore this issue through his own experiences working as a data architect for medium sized software companies.

Neil will then deliver a presentation aimed at bringing relevance to college and university IT students, covering:

  1. Who the original Whiz Kids were (and why all modern businesses are driven by data and analytics)
  2. A history of DBMSs from Bachman’s IDS to Codd’s RDBMS to Facebook’s NoSQL Cassandra, and the business needs behind these inventions
  3. A complete overview of “Twitter Analytics” (an open source tool developed by Neil) demonstrating the essentials of data warehousing, including:
    1. Star Schemas (on MySQL)
    2. An ETL tool (Pentaho)
    3. Incremental Loading
    4. Slowly Changing Dimensions
    5. Staging Tables
    6. KPIs
    7. Interactive Data Exploration (QlikView)


Neil Hepburn is the Director of Education for IRMAC, and has contributed to DAMA-I’s education materials. Currently Neil is leading a Business Intelligence modernization project at Empathica Inc.

Neil has over 17 years IT experience, holds a B.Math in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo, and is PMI certified and CDMP certified at the masterly level. Neil is also the GM of marketing for TUN3R – a critically acclaimed Internet Radio Aggregator.


Annual General Meeting

This meeting will also serve as our Annual General Meeting. Elections will be held for positions on the Board for the forthcoming year. Please contact our President or any other Board member if you are interested in assisting IRMAC for the year 2011-2012.


May 18 2011


8:30 am - 11:00 am


The Rostie Group, WaterPark Place, 20 Bay Street, 12th Floor, Toronto.

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