Friday, June 24, 2011

Irish BI SIG–23rd June 2011

On Thursday 23rd June the Irish BI SIG had a networking event on the Mv Cillairne boat. This is a former training boat that has been converted into a restaurant and bar. The boat is moored beside the new convention centre on the quays in Dublin near the O2.cill_airne_at_night

There was a good turn out, with a mixture of people from An Post, ICON, Vertice, Fijitsu and some independent consultants/contractors.

There was a few fee drinks and some food provided by the UKOUG. Many thanks for these.

There was lots of sharing of what BI related projects people have worked. There was some discussions of how the SIG can progress in the future, with the consensus that people will need to be willing to present on their projects and experiences.

Tony Cassidy, the SIG Chair, is hoping to get a few volunteers to present at the next SIG or maybe have another social networking event.

I also did my bit for the Oracle Scene magazine, in asking people would they write an article (even if it is a short one) for the next edition. I’ve recently joined the editorial team of Oracle Scene.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

OOW Oracle Mix 2011–End Result

After 3 weeks the voting on Oracle Mix has come to an end.  There was a record number of submissions and voting this year on Oracle Mix.

Based on the results from previous years anyone with a vote count over 30 seemed to have gotten they presentation accepted for Oracle Open World.

With this years increase interest, number of presentations and the total number of votes cast it looks like the you will need at least 87 votes to get into the top 20.

The organisers say that the winners are select based on the total number of votes case, but they can adjust things as this see fit – whatever that means.

I had submitted 3 presentations – it was my first attempt at submitting to Oracle Open World. 

My best place (or most popular) presentation was ‘Using Oracle Data Miner 11gR2 & SQL Dev. for Data Mining’. For this presentation I received 56 votes, which puts me in 52nd place. 

So it looks like I’m way outside making to short list for OOW11.  Maybe next year.

I’ve also submitted 2 of my presentations to the annual UKOUK conference in December. The closing date was the 5th June and the results should be out in August.

Fingers crossed.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Vote for my Oracle Open World Presentation on Oracle Mix

I’ve submitted the following 3 presentations on Oracle Mix, to be included in the voting process.

Voting finishes on 19th June.

Please vote for my presentations.  As they stay about elections in Ireland, Vote early and Often.

Upskilling a Data Developer for Data Mining

Oracle Data Mining has been available for many years now and has proven to be a powerful tool but seems to be over looked by longer established products that are a lot more expensive. Many companies have put significant work into development their BI environments. But what can they do now to improve their organisational knowledge. This presentation will look at how a database developer is more suited to doing data mining than someone with a PhD in statistics. Using the ODM tool and the CRIP-DM life-cycle it will be demonstrated how a data mining project can be conducted

See my YouTube channel for a my videos on Oracle Data Miner 11g R2


Using Oracle Data Miner 11gR2 & SQL Dev. for Data Mining

With the release of the new Oracle Data Mining tool and it being part of SQL Developer, this presentation will have a look at how these too tools can be used in combination. In particular the presentation will focus on the Data Understanding stage of the CRISP-DM Life Cycle. Using the key elements of the Data Understand stage the presentation will look at how a database developer can use the new features of the new Oracle Data Mining tool in conjunction with SQL Developer to explore the data with the aim of gaining a key insight into the data.

See my YouTube channel for my videos on Oracle Data Miner 11g R2


How to Deploy your Oracle Data Miner 11g R2 Workflows in a Live Environment

The new Oracle Data Miner 11g R2 tool is now easier to develop your Data Mining models and workflows. A Data Mining project has two main stages. This presentation will look at how you take your Data Mining workflow and Data Mining Model, that have been developed using the new Oracle Data Miner 11g R2 tool. It will show you have to extract the SQL code from the work flow to perform the Data Transformations, execute the Data Mining Model, how you can link these to your new data and finally how you can apply the model.

See my YouTube channel for my videos on the Oracle Data Miner 11g R2 tool

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Irish Oracle BI SIG Meeting - 23rd June

The next Irish Oracle BI SIG meeting will be on Thursday 23rd June starting at 6:30pm.

The format of this SIG meeting is a bit different from the previous ones.

This time the SIG meeting will be an informal networking event and there will be no demos or presentations.

The SIG event will be in the River View Bistro Bar, which is on the the MV Cillairne boat, that is moored beside the new convenion center on the quays. Check out its website

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

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Job: ETL/Data Warehouse Consultant

Distinct Partners are a new opening for a ETL/Data Warehouse Consultant.

Following a period of growth, we are now looking for experienced ETL professionals to join our consultancy team. If you are looking for a challenge in management consultancy and believe that you have the qualities to succeed in a dynamic and high growth consultancy environment, then we would love to hear from you.

Expertise Required:

  • Data Integration skills (at least one of the following)
  • Proprietary: Informatica, SAS Data Integration Studio, IBM Data Stage, Oracle.
  • Open Source: Talend, Postgres, My SQL, CUDA, Python.
  • Strong querying , data analysis and data flow mapping skills (must)
  • Data quality skills – checks, standardisation, house holding etc (understanding)
  • Data architecture skills (understanding)
  • data modelling (normalisation, referential integrity etc)
  • dimension modelling (dimensions, facts, SCDs etc
  • XML scripting and open source data integration skills (strong plus)
  • Database/ETL performance tuning and programming skills

Full details can be found at*42

If you would like to apply for the job you can email your CV to

Gina Cassidy

and mention you heard about the job from me

My Blog & others

Over the past few years I have been contributing on Data Mining and Oracle Data Miner topics on the BI-Quotient blog

Over the past few months I have decided to expand my blog postings to include all the things I’m currently doing or things that I find interesting. The main theme will be ‘Data is King’

The new blog will include posts on the following topics:

  • Oracle
  • Oracle Data Miner
  • Data Mining
  • Data Management
  • My research
  • Database Design
  • and generally anything else that I find interesting and relating to Data.

This is where this blog come into its own. This will be my main blog going forward. It will contain all my posts, including a copy of these that I post on the BI-Quotient blog

Deputy Editor for Oracle Scene (June edition)

Today I got a phone call from Jennifer from the UKOUG office asking me would I be interested in helping out with some (minor) editing of 4 articles for the June edition of Oracle Scene.

I will also have an article in this edition of Oracle Scene (a 5 page spread).

I’ve had a quick look through the 4 articles and they are an interesting bunch of articles.

Oracle Scene will be holding elections over the coming months for a more longer term deputy editor. This will go out to the user community for a public vote. I might put might name forward for this.

VirtaThon–Online Confernce July

Yesterday I received an email telling me that my presentation submission for VirtaThon (Virtual Conference for the Oracle, Java & MySQL Communities).

The presentation is titled, Getting Started with Oracle Data Miner 11G R2.

I would really like to give an online demo of the tools or even to be able to show a view of the demo, but it looks like I may have to do it with good old Powerpoint.