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 . Microsoft Data Platform MVP

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

Saturday 30 September 2017

Microsoft Ignite Vision Keynote

The 3 key technologies that will fundamentally transform our industry are mixed reality, artificial intelligence and quantum computing. 

There is a new computing paradigm on how to support and transform apps that we build, that is AI first. This is changing the culture inside organizations. Microsoft are joining graphs to produce systems of intelligence for sales, field service, customer service, talent and operations. To be one pervasive graph that is extensible. This will change the frontier about simplicity of tasks, unlocking new innovation and creativity, to create the next platform.

The aim is to democratize access to technology and to unlock the unimaginable and solve the impossible, that is the quest we are on.

Tuesday 26 September 2017

SQL Server 2017

Microsoft have announced the general availability of SQL Server 2017 and Machine Learning Services. SQL Server 2017 is available for purchase on October 2nd.

SQL Server 2017 is a milestone representing the first version of SQL Server to run on Windows Server, Linux and Docker. It has already has been pulled on Docker X 2 million times since November.

Monday 25 September 2017

Database Systems Guide to Best Practice

Database Systems provide the foundation stones for creating intelligent action. The
management of these database systems are a critical part to many organizations. In
addition the growth in the volume, variety and velocity of data has exacerbated the
need to have innovative ways to manage this data. The term best practices are
continually disseminated as the best way to manage these various configurations,
layers and dependencies.

This guide helps to demystify what are the key areas of best practice, to be
considered when managing database systems. The database system is explained
and best practice challenges identified. This guide reveals the working cogs of best
practice derived from the academic research before the revolutionary transformation
of best practice, with a 360-degree approach is shared.

The guide can be read here.

Data Story Telling

Story telling is an important facet when working with data. Whilst I was working on my research PhD I thought it was important to share the main stages of this work. My entire PhD storyboard is shared here.

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.

Sunday 17 September 2017

Doctor of Philosophy: Research Synopsis

I am pleased to announce that after 7 years of commitment to the field and effectively doing 2 full time jobs I met the academic requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy with The Open University. It has been an amazing few years researching something one finds fascinating.

The research synopsis is below.

There has been a vast expansion of data usage in recent years. The requirements of database systems to provide a variety of information has resulted in many more types of database engines and approaches. A once simple management task has become much more complex. Challenges exist for database managers to make the best choices of practices and procedures to satisfy the requirements of organisations. 

This research was aimed at understanding how the management of database systems is undertaken, how best practices and procedures form a part of the management process, and the complex nature of database systems. The study examined the adoption of best practices and how the complex interactions between components of the database system affect management and performance.

As part of this research, an innovative method was developed in which thematic analysis of the resulting data was deepened through the use of systems thinking and diagramming. Taking this holistic approach to database systems enabled a different understanding of best practices and the complexity of database systems. A ‘blueprint’, called a CODEX, was drawn up to support improvement and innovation of database systems. Based on a comprehensive assessment of the individual causal interactions between data components, a data map detailed the complex interactions.

My publications are on Google Scholar

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.