Friday, February 17, 2006

Day 2 of RMOUG Conference

Day 2 of RMOUG Conference

Today's session were great. Again lots of good content backed up by real-life examples. I attended a really good session on the impact of Sarbanes Oxley presented by Steve Lemme, Director Product Management at CA. I have heard a lot about SOX but never really deciphered what exactly was the impact on DBAs. Steve's presentation explained all the usual acronyms that get thrown around by SOX people and then zoomed in on they key parts of legislation that affect DBAs. He then discussed the various frameworks that exist for managing compliance, such as COSO and COBiT. We then drilled specifically into COBiT and how this could be used within an IT environment to manage SOX compliance. A lot of the processed and checks that were outlined seemed like common sense, but I suppose the key thing about SOX is that someone is not legally accountable for data and failure can mean jail time. There is a lot of information out there on this subject and helpfully Steve listed the following websites where you can get more information:
  • www.isca.org
  • www.coso.org
  • www.itgi.org
and the Computer Associates site contains a lot of aticles that relate specifically to the impact on IT departmentsof SOX. Overall, the presentation contained a lot of good advice and I would recommend downloading or trying to find Steve's article if/when it is posted on the RMOUG site.

Following on from this was an interesting presentation on data quality which dealt with the practical methods of discovering data quality and matching the quality requirements to business objectives. The session was given by Bonnie O'Neil, an internationally recognized expert on data warehousing and business rules. Bonnie's presentation outlined a project she undertook at Yellow Pages and how their growth into a new area, the internet, uncovered major data issues. The presentation outlined the steps they took to ensure quality data within the organization. It go interesting when Bonnie showed the presentation that was created for senior management to explain the size of the problem and how it was going to be resolved. The final graphics generated by the management team for the presentation to the board were unusual and, for me personally, did not seem to highlight the size of the issue. The use of a piece of swiss cheese with holes was definitely too wierd for me. But the board got the message straight away and signed off on the project to correct the data. May be sometimes simpler is better. Who knows.

Overall, for me and I am sure all the attendees, this was a fantastic conference. Lots of great presentations containing material that you use as soon as you got back to your desk. I certainly learnt a lot from the many presentations I attended, which just goes to prove: you never stop learning.

The next set of conferences coming up are:

Next week:

ODTUG Virtual Desktop Conference, February 21-23rd. You can get more information from the following site:

http://www.desktopconference2006.org/

I will be presenting my Oracle World paper on combining data mining with OLAP.

Future events:
Collaborate 06 which is scheduled for April 23 - 27, 2006 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort, Nashville, Tennessee, USA. You can get more information from the Collaborate web site:
http://www.collaborate06.com/

ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2006
which is scheduled for June 17-21st at the Warman Park Marriot Hotel, Washington DC. You can get more information from the Collaborate web site:
http://www.odtug.com/2006_conference/2006_conference_location.htm

For Warehouse Builder we have five papers accepted for this conference, covering all the key new areas of the 10gR2 release. If you go to the following website and search for presenters "Keith Laker" and also "Jean Pierre Dijcks" you can get more details of the presentations

http://www.odtug.com/2006_Conference/2006_conference_papers.htm#bi_dw