Passionately curious about Data, Databases and Systems Complexity. Data is ubiquitous, the database universe is dichotomous (structured and unstructured), expanding and complex. Find my Database Research at SQLToolkit.co.uk

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing" Einstein

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

SQLBits 2018

How exciting to hear the SQLBits 2018 announcement. This year it is at Olympia in London from
21st until 24th February. Registration opens 9.00 am, Thursday 28th September.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Research meets Industry

Academic research and industry have often had siloed approaches. Academic research is essential to drive an industrial innovation. Often this research takes many years and may or may not result in commercial application. Over the last few years universities have been changing their old mind set and presentation, trying to raise the profile of their research and create impact in the community. It is about telling the story of the research and how that impacts society, that is key.

Large organisations in industry are beginning again to have their own research departments. In the last decade we saw the closure of many industry research laboratories as they were seen as a luxury and not fully integrated with businesses. Academic research has often not addressed the individual needs of industry and has, in some cases, not been keeping up with the speed of change in industry. There is a revival of organisations creating research facilities or investing in research and development. Those smaller to medium companies which had research divisions, are also revamping their presence. Competitive advantage can be obtained through the results of innovation.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) brings new challenges to research. Collaboration between big players, such as Microsoft Cortana and Amazon Alexa, aim to drive innovation forward. Once AI starts to be integrated into products and businesses, the insights and intelligence it brings, will begin to shape a new way of creating commercial applications and possibilities for innovation.

The world today is full of complexity and data is the fuel that helps drive intelligent action. Using data science, it helps breach that multi-disciplinary area to benefit all. Businesses must be grounded in accurate data to produce the next industrial revolution, through innovation and AI.

There is a new computational research centre of excellence (CoSeC) in the UK. The centre is bringing together leading UK expertise in key fields of computational research to tackle large-scale scientific software development, maintenance and distribution. This will improve scientific research software, that is relied upon worldwide, by universities and industries.

Thus, having a clear agenda that combines research and industry is the route to successfully navigating the fast moving business landscape.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Academic Requirements Met

After seven long years, I have received confirmation from the University's Research Degrees Committee, that my thesis meets the academic requirements for the award of the Doctor of Philosophy of The Open University.

I would like to say a massive thank you to my supervisors Dr Magnus Ramage and Dr Karen Kear and to the database community for their support, encouragement and help over the years.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

SQL Relay 2017 Registration is Open

SQL Relay is returning for its 8th year. The UK roadshow sees the relay carry the Data Platform learning baton between 5 cities.

SQL Relay features top quality Microsoft Data Platform content from Microsoft, and nationally and internationally renowned speakers. There are four tracks; three primary tracks providing in depth tips and tricks for your SQL Server and Azure environment, there is also a morning and afternoon in-depth workshop, spaces are limited on these so make sure you register your place below. With over 1000 registrations on the last SQL Relay, reserve your place quickly.

Come and join the awesome UK roadshow SQL training events in October to learn, grow and adapt. Registration is open and free.


Monday, 21 August 2017

2018 Research Conferences

Two data lead research conferences for 2018.

ACM Special Interest Group on Management of Data SIGMOD 2018

International Conference on very large data bases VLDB2018

Monday, 10 July 2017

Inspire Opening Keynote

I watched the Inspire keynote yesterday. It started with  @MelissaArnot (the first American woman to summit Everest without supplemental oxygen) talking about following her dreams with determination and collaboration. Dreams are a global language. Her introductory speech was so inspiring, encouraging you to never give up and to press on amidst adversity, to reach your goal.

Microsoft talked about the Intelligent cloud and intelligent edge. Technological changes are no longer bound to a single device. There is a profound shift to include AI in every application that is built. Data has gravity. It is about managing complexity on a new efficient frontier.

The new changes will be more profound that virtualisation. The new pillars for enabling digital transformation are: the modern workplace, business applications, applications & infrastructure and data & AI. It is about democratisation and making use of data and service, which are now digital. It is important to incorporate the customers needs in the solutions that we create.

Microsoft introduced a new intelligent solution, Microsoft 365. The modern workplace is shaping culture and it is necessary to empower people, to help share and transform, in disparate teams. It needs to be one simple framework or integrated system.

There were various other announcements but it is Data & AI changing model, that excites me.  Serverless and Microservices will be a revolutionary change but it is the fact that AI will be built into all services, that will define the next era.   Incorporating database richness, connecting into one digital data estate is the future, although it is not just about big data and analytics. It is about now trying to create value with small data.

Without data there is no AI. Data is the foundation.

It is not possible to succeed alone, so choosing your Partners is crucial. 

Saturday, 8 July 2017

The Conference Year

Conferences add significant business value: from gaining knowledge, to problem solving, to learning about what the future has to offer and networking. Networking is a key enabler.  The question is always which conferences to attend and which keynotes to watch. The ones you attend can drive your future career path. So it is an important choice, particularly when there is so much choice. The choice could be about technologies and industries that you think will define the next decade and beyond or to help you with your present day tasks. I like to attend conferences for both reasons and the community. They enable you to "image" and "innovate".

I help at two community run conferences. These two conferences continue to inspire me, enable me to be better and to be a part of the community.