DW/BI: Cost Reduction for Better Security

Data Warehouse implementation: Cost reduction for better security

Dynamic Data Masking can help drastically reduce Data Warehouse development cost while improving overall data security.

By Vitaly Dubravin

Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence (DW/BI) implementation is frequently considered a black hole for the IT budget.  It is hard (almost impossible) to run a business without one, but requires substantial investment to reshape your existing transactional systems to clean “dirty” data, fix existing (but broken) business processes and formalize analytical needs for different departments. Vast majority of these costs have nothing to do with the Data Warehouse, but become noticeable during DW/BI project.

My team at GRT Corporation has deployed tens of Data Warehouses for Fortune 50, as well as smaller size companies.  One of the most common challenges for DW/BI implementation is loose definition of business requirements by the business. This is not something that can be fixed, for a simple reason – it’s very hard to tell what you need for the system until you start using it every day. Good Data Warehouses are built in phases not because the scope is huge, but because user requirements are changing while the business is getting hands-on experience analyzing real data. Read more…

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SEO: Terra incognita

SEO: Terra incognita

Is SEO yet another marketing balloon or a vital part of the corporate web site strategy?

By Vitaly Dubravin

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a set of techniques to show the webpage on the top of the search results. Everyone desires to be on the first page in Google. It guarantees more traffic to the site along with more customers and advertising revenue as a result.  At least, this is the way SEO is presented to newbies by the SEO-optimization companies.  SEO is positioned as a magic wand to convert barely working website into a cash cow in a matter of weeks. Should you hire a SEO expert to reshape your website? Or do it yourself (may be it is not a rocket science after all)? Or just ignore it… (can it be yet another Y2K bubble)? I’ll try to provide you enough food for thought to make the right decision yourself and not to fall into a con artist’s hands. Read more…

Fears of Scrum

February 10, 2011 Leave a comment
Fears of Scrum

Major objections for moving from Waterfall Project to Scrum and how to address them

By Vitaly Dubravin

Scrum is a flavor of an agile software development methodology and is widely adopted by all major software shops. It cuts sharp corners of a “traditional” waterfall approach, eliminates unnecessary tensions and makes your development team very lean and efficient. I’ve started practicing Scrum several years ago when Kindle Innovations has decided to move ahead with a Facebook challenger – www.tabUp.com project. Everyone on the team had his own vision and understanding of the site to be, many ideas were similar in nature, but had “minor” differences in tactical approach. Even though our “final” scope at the beginning looked solid like a rock, we had to adapt to the Internet changing demands. TabUp today has only a few elements of the original idea and everything you see on the site is a response to the early birds and current users’ behaviors and suggestions. TabUp team got to the point where we can implement a feature within a few days from the suggestion and push it into production right away. This would be absolutely impossible to do without using Scrum.

I was so impressed by Scrum results on tabUp project that started evangelizing this approach to my other customers. Some of them had already adopted it, others are in the process of internal fighting with “natural” fears. This is what I’m going to review down below – Fears of Scrum.
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The Mystery of Data Masking for Business Managers

January 21, 2011 3 comments
The Mystery of Data Masking for Business Managers

Who and how should initiate and lead Data Masking projects in the enterprise.

By Vitaly Dubravin

Data Masking has recently become a well-recognized buzz word. All major IT players have released their own products to support this initiative. Oracle, IBM and Camouflage are just a few vendors with smart and flexible masking products. However there are not that many stories of a successful masking adoption (not just implementation!). There is a good reason for that.

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Perfect Skype setup: Step one – get personal Skype account (FREE)

December 19, 2010 1 comment

By Vitaly Dubravin

Go to www.skype.com and click “Join Skype” (or “Create an Account”). This is simple and straight forward process.  Use your real name when asked – it is so annoying to see names like “anKJqm183” in the contact list. Specify your location as well. You will see why in the step three. Be careful choosing your Skype Name – your id in Skype – this is what you will give to others to connect. There is no way to change it! You will use this id for life. Skype also asks for your email – it is used to send you account related information (like Skype purchases). I have not seen any 3rd party messages coming to my email, so you should not be concerned about new spam heading your way. Profile information is optional, but is recommended – Skype will remind your friends that today is your birthday etc.

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Perfect Skype setup: Step two – install Skype and test it (FREE)

December 19, 2010 2 comments

By Vitaly Dubravin

You have to have Skype client somewhere to use it with your account. There are clients for almost all imaginable devices – from a laptop to a cell phone and even TV set. I’ll not be surprised if a fridge or a microwave version will come out soon. But your computer (Windows or Mac) is always a good starting point.

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Perfect Skype setup: Step three – add your buddies and colleagues with Skype accounts (FREE)

December 19, 2010 3 comments

By Vitaly Dubravin

Skype has reported over 100 million accounts created, so there is a good chance that your friends are already there. Use “Add a Contact” tab in Skype client to add them. Try searching by name first. You may get a huge list with people around the word with the same name.  Here is where location information becomes handy.

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