Friday, May 27, 2011

Creating ODM Schemas & Repository for ODM 11g R2

Before you can start using the Oracle Data Miner features that are now available in SQL Developer 3, there are a few steps you need to perform. This post will walk you through these steps and I have put together a video which goes into more detail. The video is available on my YouTube channel.

Oracle Data Miner 11g R2 : Creating ODM User & Repository video

I will be posting more How To type videos over the coming weeks and months. Each video will focus in one one particular feature within the new Oracle Data Mining tool.

So following steps are necessary before you can start using the ODM tool

Set up of Oracle Data Miner tabs

To get the ODM tabs to display in SQL Developer, you need to go to the View menu and select the following from the Data Miner submenu

  • Data Miner Connections
  • Workflow Jobs
  • Property Inspector


Create an ODM Schema

There are two main ways to create a Schema. The first and simplest way is to use SQL Developer. To do this you need to create a connection to SYS. Right click on the Other Users option and select Create User.

The second option is to use SQL*Plus to create the user. Using both methods you need to grant Connect & Resource privileges to the user.

Create the Repository

Before you can start using Oracle Data Mining, you need to create an Oracle Data Miner Repository in the database. Again there are two ways to do this. The simplest is to use the inbuilt functionality in SQL Developer. In the Oracle Data Miner Connections tab, double click on the ODM schema you have just created. SQL Developer will check the database to see if the ODM Repository exists in the database. If it will create the repository for you. But you will need to provide the SYS password.

The other way to create the repository is to run the installodmr.sql script that in available in the ‘datamining’ directory.

@installodmr.sql <default tablespace> <temp tablespace>

example:   @installodmr.sql USER TEMP

Create another ODM Schema

It is typical that you would need to have more than one schema for your data mining work. After creating the default Oracle schema, the next step is to grant the schema the privileges to use the Data Mining Repository. This script is called

usergrants.sql <DM Schema>

example:    @usergrants.sql DMUSER

Hint: The schema name needs to be in upper case. 

IMPORTANT: The last grant statement in the script may give an error. If this occurs then it is due to an invalid hidden character on the line. If you do a cut and paste of the grant statement and execute this statement, everything should run fine.

If you want to demo data to be created for this new ODM schema then you need to run

@instdemodata.sql <DM Schema>

example:    @instdemodata.sql DMUSER

All of these scripts can be found in SQL developer directories


Monday, May 23, 2011

Great set of Data Design Articles

For anyone starting out on data and database design there are lots and lots of books and articles to help get them started.

But for those people who have been doing database design for a while, it is always good to reflect on your approaches and techniques.

I recently attended a presentation by Steve Hoberman. If you ever get a chance to attend a data design presentation by him, I would highly recommend it.

He addition to his presentations and database design courses, he also writes for the website Information Management.

His series of articles can be found at

and his company website is

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Guest Post: Can Database Developers do Data Mining ?

I was recently invited by Sandro Saitta, who runs the Data Mining Research blog (, to write a guest blog post for him. The topic for this guest post was Can Database Developers do Data Mining ?

The original post is available at Guest Post- Can Database Developers do Data Mining –

Here is the main body of the post

Over the past 20 to 30 years Data Mining has been dominated by people with a background in Statistics. This is primarily due to the type of techniques employed in the various data mining tools. The purpose of this post is to highlight the possibility that database developers might be a more suitable type of person to have on a data mining project than someone with a statistics type background.

Lets take a look at the CRISP-DM lifecycle for data mining (Figure 1). Most people involved in data mining will be familiar with this life cycle.

crispFigure 1 – CRoss Industry Standard Process for Data Mining.

It is will documented that the first three steps in CRISP-DM can take up to 70% to 80% of the total project time. Why does it take so much time. Well the data miner has to start learning about the business in question, explore the data that exists, re-explore the business rules and understand etc. Then can they start the data preparation step.

Database developers within the organisation will have gathered a considerable amount of the required information because they would have been involved in developing the business applications. So a large saving in time can be achieved here as this will already have most of the business and data understanding. They are well equipped at querying the data, getting to the required data quicker. The database developers are also best equipped to perform the data preparation step.

If we skip onto the deployment step. Again the database developers will be required to implement/deploy the selected data mining model in the production environment.

The two remaining steps, Modelling and Evaluation, are perhaps the two steps that database developers are less suited too. But with a bit of training on Data Mining techniques and how to evaluate data mining models, they would be well able to complete the full data mining lifecycle.

If we take the stages of CRISP-DM that a database developer is best suited to, Business Understanding, Data Understanding, Data Preparation and Deployment, this would equate to approximately 80% to 85% of the total project. With a little bit of training and up skilling, database developers are the based kind of person to perform data mining within their organisation.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Oracle Data Miner Comes of Age

I’ve recently had an article titled Oracle Data Miner Comes of Age accepted for the June edition of the UKOUG Oracle Scene article.

I’ve been thinking of ways to try to promote this article and I’ve decided I would create two videos and post them on YouTube.

The first video is a short 1 minute introduction to the article. A taster kind of video. I’ve learned from my initial attempts at producing the video that

  • It is more difficult than it looks
  • The camera on my laptop is not install straight. That is why I’m looking to one side
  • I need a better quality microphone

But perhaps the most interesting thing was that within a couple of hours of posting it up on YouTube (and not telling anyone about it), it was found and tweeted by Charlie Burger. Charlie is the Senior Director in charge of the Oracle Data Miner tool. He also very kindly tweeted about one of my blog postings on the New Features of Oracle Data Miner 11g R2.

You can find the introduction video to the article at

I will be posting an much long view, which will be based on the full article over the next couple of weeks