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Traditional Data vs Big Data: Tools and Technology

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Dear TDWI St Louis BI/DW and Analytics Professionals,
We cordially invite you to attend our upcoming TDWI St Louis Chapter meeting on March 4, 2016.  Come meet other local professionals, swap business cards, share ideas, and exchange career advice while listening to quality presentations in a vendor-neutral setting, which is the hallmark of TDWI education. Our speakers will be DW/BI end-users reporting on their success and lessons learned implementing various BI tools or projects. Please see our detailed meeting agenda below.

Download the PDF presentations from the meeting here:

The Big Data Juggling Act

Demystifying Big Data and Data Arch


March 4, 2016 at 8:00- 12:00



The BJC Learnings Center
8300 Eager Road
Brentwood, MO  63144


Traditional Data vs Big Data:  Tools and Technology  

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8:00 – 8:30

Networking and Registration

8:30 – 8:50

Introductions and Chapter Business


Presentation: The Big Data Juggling Act.
Paul Boal
Senior Consultant, Big Data Practice Lead


For organizations that have been doing data warehousing and business intelligence (DW/BI) since the early 90’s, the prospect of introducing big data into their routine can feel like the move from juggling tennis balls to juggling flaming torches.  As a result, big data is likely to either not come into the organization at all or develop in an entirely separate silo.  This session will review some of the key challenges that organizations face when evaluating how or if to bring in big data technologies, and provide suggestions on how to successfully expand existing DW/BI capabilities with Hadoop and other big data technologies without losing the valuable lessons and the years of experience in your DW/BI team. Attendees will see some specific real-world examples of helping DW/BI professionals learn about big data, ways to identify the business opportunities that are appropriate for big data technologies, a new way to think about a new kind of project, and tips for managing broader organizational change.

10:00 – 10:30

Break and Networking

10:30 – 11:45

Presentation: Demystifying Big Data: Designing an Architecture for Data and Analytics  
Mark Madsen
ThirdNature, Inc


The problem we designers need to solve isn't "big data" or "small data"—it’s all data. The data warehouse is sufficient for a portion of the data we manage, but not for all of it. Hence the new terms people are proposing that indicate something different: data lakes, logical data warehouses, analytical ecosystems.
The requirements we have are to accept any data, not just rigidly structured data in rows and columns; to accept that data at any speed, not just what the database can keep up with; to deliver via any means, not just SQL-based BI tools; and to support any process—not just queries but also algorithms and APIs.
The technology that we use is problematic because it constrains and sometimes prevents necessary activities. We don’t need more technology and bigger machines. We need different technology that does different things. More product features from the same vendors won’t solve the problem.
The big data market has set itself up as an alternative to the data warehouse, not realizing the new technologies solve different problems and aren't appropriate for some of the original problems. This is really a confusion of technology with architecture. There are definite technical, process and business differences in the big data market when compared to BI and data warehousing, but they are often poorly explained. BI isn't big data, and big data isn't BI. By distilling the technical and process realities of big data systems and projects we can separate fact from fiction.

11:45 – 12:00

Q&A, Raffles, and Wrap-up

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Space is limited so sign up early!

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Bios of Presenters

Paul Boal
Paul Boal is a senior consultant and Amitech’s big data practice lead, with more than 15 years of experiencing delivering and managing healthcare information management and analytics solutions. Paul has experience developing, promoting, and implementing enterprise strategies across a range of information management disciplines including enterprise data management, master data management, data warehousing and business intelligence, big data and advanced analytics, and data/analytics commercialization. Paul is currently focussed on helping healthcare companies adapt to the evolving industry using integrated big data and advanced analytics strategies and solutions, as well as leading the technical direction for Amitech’s IoT Population Health Management platform in partnership with Big Cloud Analytics.
Mark Madsen
Mark designs and builds analytics, decision support and data processing systems and the data management and infrastructure behind them. His research focus is on emerging technology and practices in analytics and information management. He is an international speaker, a contributor to Forbes and is on the O’Reilly Strata program committee. For more information or to contact Mark, follow @markmadsen on Twitter or visit

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