Sadly I’m not at IDUG this year. I’ll definitely miss many very special people, the education, the networking, and the dine around event. For those of you who are there, let us know how it is going, and get full use out of your visit!
My good friend Kate Kurtz is attending IDUG this year. It is her first time and she is presenting a session. I’ve asked her to guest blog for me while the conference is going on. This is the first of her entries. I hope you enjoy:
My name is Katherine Kurtz, and it is my first time going to IDUG!
Susan invited me to write some guest blogs, to give the inside scoop on the various sessions at IDUG and what the experience is like. I work with a great team of people developing best practices for the IBM Smart Analytics System and InfoSphere Warehouse Environments, and I am currently a manager for DB2 and IBM Smart Analytics System Information Development.
I really believe that we should educate people - ourselves and our customers - about the best way to use our products, which is how I ended up submitting several sessions to IDUG. (Note to self: Be careful what you ask for! Preparation for IDUG was about 5x more work than I expected). Best Practices are all about taking what is tried and tested in the field, putting it together with the future directions our development team is working on and then working together to make a great product even better.
I love what I do - and it is great to always be learning.
It is the night before I leave and I am currently building my checklist.
- presentations ready? check (well - maybe not quite, I think I still want to tweak a few things)
- packed? check
- American $$ , just in case I get to go shopping... :-) check
What will I be doing while I am at IDUG?
I have two sessions I am co-presenting. Warehouse Best Practices In Action - The IBM Smart Analytics System and also Best Practices for Building a Recovery Strategy for your Data Warehouse. I was also asked to participate in a Special Interest Group panel discussion, focusing on Data Warehousing. I am sure there will be lots of interesting debate - and I hope I can think on my feet! There is also the first timer luncheon on Wednesday - where I get to go as an IDUG first timer and as an IBMer, plus I get food, which is always a good thing.
One of the things I liked the most about IOD last fall (which was also the first time I attended IOD) was the conversations I had with customers I met during different sessions. It was always interesting to hear their point of view, and I think it really changes the way I think about the products that we are developing. I hope IDUG will be the same way - lots of great discussions, and chance to learn a lot from others.
If you are attending IDUG, please be sure to stop by and say hi,
Thanks Kate! Looking forward to hearing more from you.
Others who are at IDUG and are blogging include:
Rebecca Bond: What do your car keys, Nemo and IDUG NA have in common?
There already seems to be a lot of traction for the hash tag #IDUG, so I put together a web page that searches for Twitter updates containing #IDUG. It’s pretty cool: http://bit.ly/kW3MoM or http://www.dbisoftware.com/idugna11.php
This tracks something like the newest/most recent 50 tweets, 8 second continuous updates.
Cristian Molaro: DBBuzz
See my previous entries about the conference. If you are there and would like me to blog about your experiences, let me know :)
Just a bit more about IDUG
Guest blogger: Beth – What IDUG Sessions are recommended in the DB2 for z/OS track?
All about IDUG DB2 Tech Conference - Anaheim
Rebecca Bond: IDUG NA – The Geeky Vacation!
Budgeting for IDUG North America conference as viewed by the DB2 Locksmith
PS… If you see Roger Miller, please give him a big kiss goodbye as he is retiring very soon …
This week’s show took place today… and I missed it! I thought I still had an extra day to promote it. So, if you’re like me and missed the show, you can listen to the replays. Here’s what happened in the past week:
Thursday April 21
The DB2Night Show #50: Put on the Boxing Gloves, DB2 LUW vs Oracle, Part 1
Julian Stuhler from Triton Consulting and Rick Sobiesiak of IBM Canada presented findings from their DB2 LUW versus Oracle Usability study. The study examines the major differences between DB2 9.7 and Oracle 11gR2, and assesses the complexity of each. Very impressive results, which I’ll let you discover by reading the study or watching the replay.
Round 1: Installation
Round 2: Data Compression
Round 3: Index Compression
Round 4: Backup & Recovery
If you want to see the complete study, down load the free Whitepaper: Quantitative Complexity Analysis.
Get the commentary and the replay. In the commentary, you’ll find links to several blog entries that were written in conjunction with this study.
Monday April 25
The DB2Night Show #Z01: The history of DB2 for z/OS
The launch of the DB2 for z/OS version of the DB2Night Show hosted by Klaas Brant. The first show featured special guest Roger Miller who spoke of the history of DB2. Klaas mentions in his wrap up of the show that there were many things mentioned that he wasn’t aware of even though he had been using DB2 since V1.2. Also, this show marks the last visit Roger will make on the DB2Night Show as he will retire in a few weeks. Roger, you’ll be missed!!
Get the commentary and the replay.
Thursday April 28
The DB2Night Show #51: Put on the Boxing Gloves, DB2 LUW vs Oracle, Part 2
Julian Stuhler and Rick Sobiesiak continued presented findings from their DB2 LUW versus Oracle Usability study. Make sure you make it known as to which of the tasks covered in either show you’d like to see demonstrated on a future DB2Night Show.
Round 5: Memory Tuning
Round 6: Data Access Control
Interesting comments & questions that came up during the show:
- Scott recommended that audience members also check out The DB2Night Show #14: Crunching the Numbers and DB2 STMM.
- Question from the audience whether IBM is making DB2 so easy to put DBAs out of business or to give DBAs a chance to improve their golf game.
- Question from the audience: why is Oracle so popular if DB2 is so great?
- Many questions on STMM.
There were so many questions today, but they will be answered in the Replay Blog.
Get the commentary and the replay.
Next week: IDUG.
And, the week after IDUG:
Monday May 9
The DB2Night Show z/OS Edition #02: DB2 for z/OS Now and into the Future
Jeff Josten will share the latest news with DB2 z/OS V10 and offer his insights into what may be coming next in DB2 z/OS: The Future of DB2
Friday May 13
The DB2Night Show Episode #52 - : DB2 for LUW Best Practices: Writing and Tuning Queries for Optimal Performance
John Hornibrook from the IBM Toronto Lab will spend 90 minutes to give his query optimization talk. John is also back for another show taking place on Friday May 20. Since that is so long from now, check out a previous show with John that was ranked one of the best of the first season: Episode 11. DB2 9.7 Optimizer Updates with special guest John Hornibrook from IBM.
As always, a great learning and entertainment opportunity via the DB2 Night Show. Thanks Scott! Good luck in Nashville on the marathon.
Today marks the first day of the new blog by David Birmingham called “Netezza Underground”. As you may remember, IBM purchased Netezza not that long ago. To refresh your memory, here is a description in the Press Release, IBM Completes Acquisition Of Netezza:
Netezza data warehouse appliances bring analytics directly into the hands of business users within every department of an organization such as sales, marketing, product development and human resources. The simplicity of deploying Netezza appliances makes the technology ideal for the needs of high-performance analytics, requiring minimal administration and IT skills, and enables clients to run complex data queries within days of deploying the solution.
David’s first blog entry introduces the need for the blog and looks at the counter-intuitive nature of the product's internals. In future entries, he’ll answer questions about the technology as a seasoned expert. If you’re interested in business analytics, data warehousing, and big data, this is definitely a blog that you want to subscribe to.
So, who is David? He’s not an employee of IBM or Netezza. David is a consultant working for Bright Light Consulting and is a huge fan of the Netezza product and architecture. A few years ago he also wrote a Netezza book:
Looking for more information about Netezza? Here are some additional resources that I’ve found:
- IBM Red Guide: The Netezza Data Appliance Architecture: A Platform for High Performance Data Warehousing and Analytics
- Netezza Community – links to David’s blog, plus other bloggers, including Jim Baum, Justin Lindsey, Phil Francisco, Brad Terrell, Shawn Dolley, Dai Clegg, and Patricia Colter.
- Enzee Universe – User Conference taking place in Boston June 20-22.
I’m looking forward to learning more about Netezza via David’s blog.
This may be the best 23 pages you’ll ever read about DB2 LUW Database Storage. This updated paper just went live and was updated by Aamer Sachedina, Matthew Huras, and Robin Grosman.
In a world with networked and highly virtualized storage, database storage design can seem like a dauntingly complex task for a DBA or system architect to get right. Poor database storage design can have a significant negative impact on a database server. CPUs are so much faster than physical disks that it is not uncommon to find poorly performing database servers that are significantly I/O bound and underperforming by many times their potential.
The good news is that it is not necessary to get database storage design perfectly right. Understanding the innards of the storage stack and manually tuning the location of database tables and indexes on particular parts of different physical disks is neither generally achievable nor generally maintainable by the average DBA in today’s virtualized storage world.
Simplicity is the key to ensuring good database storage design. The basics involve ensuring an adequate number of physical disks to keep the system from becoming I/O bound.
This document provides basic initial suggestions for a healthy database server through easy-to-follow best practices in database storage, including guidelines and recommendations.
See also my previous posts on Best Practices:
Best Practice Resources for DB2 z/OS
DB2 Best Practices – New or Updated in 2011
And also see the Flashbooks co-authored by Aamer & Matt:
DB2 pureScale: Risk Free Agile Scaling
Thanks again to Kate Kurtz for giving me this information. She also tells me there is one more to publish before IDUG.
OK, I thought I had produced a pretty good list of free resources, but of course, as soon as I post, I realize that I’ve forgotten to mention some really key resources. Let me try again and hope that I don’t miss anything else! (Of course if I do… please tell me!!)
PlanetDB2.com – Allow us to filter through all the blogs that are on the web to bring you only the bloggers that talk about our favourite subject: DB2, InfoSphere, Warehouse, and other Information Management technologies.
ChannelDB2.com – The single largest community of people working on DB2 and Information Management products, world-wide. You’ll be able to build your network of professionals who work in your country or who are interested in the same technology as you. The best feature is the incredibly large selection of videos of people presenting about this products. Once in awhile, save your eyes and tune into these videos.
DB2Express-C – Maybe you’ve just heard of DB2 or maybe you use a competitor’s product. No worries… give DB2 a try for free. Find out for yourself how easy it is to learn and how much better it is than the product you may be using.
Information Center – Perhaps I’m biased since I worked for 6 years on the Information Development team that produces product documentation, but I really think you’ll find the completeness and the quality of this information to be outstanding. All of the information is online, for every release, for free, and is updated regularly. The benefit of the content being online is that you can search and easily find the information you need.
developerWorks – You’ll find more articles, blogs, tutorials and other training resources than you could possibly consume in a lifetime! The link I’ve provided is for the DB2 Professional Community, but you’ll be able to find technical information about all IBM software products. Endless :)
MeetDB2 – One of the interesting things you’ll find on developerWorks is this utility that will help you analyze your Oracle database to estimate the level of compatibility with DB2. My link will take you to an article written by Serge Rielau that will help you understand how the utility works, and it provides a link the utility.
Read through my previous blog entries for more free or almost free resources:
Not quite free….
DB2Night Show - DB2 for z/OS
Coming up fast is the 3-day Information Management Technical Conference (IMTC India 2011) that is taking place in Bangalore, India. The conference starts Wednesday May 4 and goes until Friday May 6. If you’re in the region, you should attend for many reasons.
- This is a 3-day deep dive technical conference, specializing on the Information Management area.
- Choose from 58 technical sessions & 8 hands on Labs.
- Free certification: one free IBM certification exam per participant on IM brand only.
- Networking opportunities with peers, product and industry specialists, and like-minded professionals.
- Get your technical questions answered by experts.
There are four tracks that you can follow:
- Data Management
- ECM Enterprise Content Management (FileNet + DB2 CM)
- IP and S (Information Platform and Solutions - Datastage, MDM - Infosphere)
- Business Analytics and Optimisation
You can keep up to date with all the latest news by following the Training team on Facebook or Twitter.
To register and for full conference details, see the IMTC India 2011 web page.
See a previous blog I wrote about the resources that you can find in India that are related to Information Management.
Last week I blogged about the Best Practice Papers that were available for DB2 Linux, UNIX, and Windows: DB2 Best Practices – New or Updated for 2011. As a result of that entry, I found out that there are also Best Practices resources for DB2 for z/OS as well. Not only articles though, but lectures, podcasts, and publications. Thanks to Janet Ikemiya and David Salinero for providing me with this information!
The DB2 for z/OS best practices developerWorks webpage contains many of the recommendations and guidance of DB2 for z/OS subject matter experts. Material from frequent conference speakers such as John Campbell, Roger Miller, Bonnie Baker, Willie Favero and several others is located on this site. Over 25 web lectures (slides with audio), articles, and publications are organized into categories such as administering, security, and tuning.
The most recent additions are:
John Campbell's two part series of recommendations regarding optimizing DB2 insert performance. This web lecture includes a video with slides and audio by John. The slides and transcript are also available separately:
Optimizing insert performance, Part 1 (February 2011)
by John Campbell
This webcast presents trade-offs made between optimizing DB2 insert for better throughput versus space reuse. It explores questions regarding inserting rows sequentially or randomly, whether to sort into clustering order and the effects of indexes on insert performance. Learn best practices for the different types of DB2 table spaces and get the details on DB2 parameters and recommended values.
Optimizing insert performance, Part 2 (March 2011)
by John Campbell
This second webcast on optimizing insert performance reviews additional techniques for speeding up the process of inserting rows into DB2. Learn about methods such as using a large index pagesize, random index keys, removing unused indexes, logging, and efficiently creating unique identifiers. The webcast covers enhancements specific to DB2 10 (such as index I/O parallelism, unique index with INCLUDE, and in-line LOBs) that impact insert performance. Finally, the presenter summarizes the best practices from both part 1 and part 2.
Also added in 2011:
DB2 Statistics Data Collection, DB2 System Address Space CPU Time and WLM Settings, Data Set Open/Close Activity (January 2011)
by Florence Dubois
There are many choices when collecting statistics about the DB2 system environment. This webcast will give guidelines on which statistics to gather and how to analyze your system's health. The data collected from IFCIDs, CPU time from monitoring tools, WLM metrics, and data set open and close activity will all be explored. The recommendations given will lead to improved DB2 performance.
Hard Lessons Leaned From Customer Health Check Studies (January 2011)
by John Campbell
This webcast presents practical advice from DB2 health checks at customer installations. It describes problems encountered when dealing with WLM, disaster recovery, continuous availability, data sharing, DB2 restart, and storage tuning. It discusses the most common issues and proven methods to prevent problems.
Additional material is posted throughout the year so bookmark this page!
If you have a suggestion for additional best practice content, please send an email to the contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
IBM InfoSphere Guardium provides the simplest, most robust solution for assuring the privacy and integrity of trusted information in your data center (SAP, PeopleSoft, Cognos, Siebel, etc.) and reducing costs by automating the entire compliance auditing process in heterogeneous environments. You can find more information about this product on this website: IBM InfoSphere Guardium - Real-Time Database Activity Monitoring
Are you looking to build skills in Guardium? A new course for InfoSphere Guardium has just been released and is now available.
GU201: InfoSphere Guardium 8 Technical Training - New
This three day course offers a balanced mix of lectures, hands-on lab work, case studies, and testing. You will learn how to create reports, audits, alerts, metrics, compliance oversight processes, and database access policies and controls. You will also learn about system administration, archiving, purging, and back-ups.
This intermediate course is for:
- Information Security professionals
- Database Administrators
- Access Management
- STAP and GIM
- Self Monitoring
- Determining requirements
- Group Builder
- Vulnerability Assessment
- Query and Report builder
- Compliance Workflow Automation
- Data Discovery
Guardium's training courses help you achieve results quickly and easily. For more information about training, to sign up for a training course, or to schedule a training session, go to: Guardium Training.
Other courses you may wish to consider:
- GU200: IBM InfoSphere Guardium Technical Training
This three day course offers a balanced mix of lectures, hands-on lab work, case studies, and testing. Students will learn how to create reports, audits, alerts, metrics, compliance oversight processes, and database access policies and controls. Students will also learn about system administration, archiving, purging, and back-ups.
PS… thanks to Bill Fekrat for providing this information to me.
The ITSO has been busy creating technical publications to help you deep your knowledge and hands on skills with IBM’s Information Management products. Here is a list of the Redbooks and Redpapers that have published in first three months of 2011:
Advanced Case Management with IBM Case Manager
Published 22 March 2011, last updated 26 March 2011, Rating: (based on 1 review)
This publication introduces IT architects and IT specialists to the case management concept, its benefits, and how it is different from traditional business process management or content management. In addition, this book introduces the IBM Case Manager product, designing a case management solution, setting up the appropriate environment, and building and deploying the solution. In addition, it serves as a practical guide for IT professionals who are responsible for designing, building, and deploying case management solutions.
Data Studio and DB2 for z/OS Stored Procedures
Published 15 March 2011
This IBM® Redpaper™ publication is devoted to tools that can be used for accelerating the development and debugging process, in particular to the stored procedure support provided by the latest and fastest evolving IBM product: Data Studio.
Information Server: Installation and Configuration Guide
Published 8 March 2011, Rating: (based on 1 review)
In this IBM® Redpaper™ publication we provide suggestions, hints and tips, directions, installation steps, checklists of prerequisites, and configuration information collected from a number of Information Server experts. It is intended to minimize the time required to successfully install and configure IBM Information Server.
IBM Smart Analytics System
Published 23 February 2011
This IBM Redbooks® publication introduces the architecture and components of the IBM Smart Analytics System family. We describe the installation and configuration of the IBM Smart Analytics System and show how to manage the systems effectively to deliver an enterprise class service.
Embedding IBM Informix
Published 17 February 2011
In this IBM® Redbooks® publication, we discuss and describe the capabilities for embedding Informix® into applications and software. We introduce the technological architecture and describe several of the functions and features that support Informix as a robust and powerful embeddable DBMS. Many of these features are unique in the industry today, enabling clients to create a business advantage.
IBM Optim Performance Manager for DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows
Published 13 February 2011, last updated 17 February 2011
This IBM Redbooks® publication describes the architecture and components of Optim Performance Manager Extended Edition. We provide information for planning the deployment of Optim Performance Manager and detail steps for successful installation, activation, and configuration of Optim Performance Manager and the Extended Insight client.
Extremely pureXML in DB2 10 for z/OS
Published 28 January 2011, Rating: (based on 2 reviews)
In this IBM® Redbooks® publication, we document the steps for the implementation of a simple but meaningful XML application scenario. We have chosen to provide samples in COBOL and Java™ language. The purpose is to provide an easy path to follow to integrate the XML data type for the traditional DB2 for z/OS® user.
IBM Enterprise Content Management and IBM Information Archive: Providing the Complete Solution
Published 19 January 2011
This IBM Redpaper™ publication focuses on the benefit and technical details of the integration of ECM products and offering with the Information Archive device. We explain the need and concept behind the IBM Smart Archive strategy, provide an overview of the Information Archive device and ECM products and offerings, and discuss how integrating them can benefit an organization. The technical details that we provide include integrating the Information Archive device with the following ECM products and offerings:
-- IBM FileNet® P8
-- IBM Content Manager
-- IBM Content Manager OnDemand
IBM Scale Out Network Attached Storage: Architecture, Planning, and Implementation Basics
Published 1 January 2011, Rating: (based on 2 reviews)
In this IBM Redbooks® publication, we give you details of the hardware and software architecture that make up the SONAS appliance, along with configuration, sizing, and performance considerations. We provide information about the integration of the SONAS appliance into an existing network. We demonstrate the administration of the SONAS appliance through the GUI and CLI, as well as showing backup and availability scenarios. Using a quick start scenario, we take you through common SONAS administration tasks to familiarize you with the SONAS system.
DB2 10 for z/OS Technical Overview
Published 30 December 2010, last updated 10 March 2011, Rating: (based on 3 reviews)
This IBM Redbooks® publication introduces the enhancements made available with DB2 10 for z/OS. The contents help you understand the new functions and performance enhancements, start planning for exploiting the key new capabilities, and justify the investment in installing or migrating or skip migrating to DB2 10.
The following eBooks about key IBM Products are available at a 50% discount for the next two weeks, ending April 17. For all the details, click here. Note that the discount is automatic on these selected eBooks:
Manage and administer your WebSphere application server to create a reliable, secure, and scalable environment for running your applications
Build SOA-based flexible, economical, and efficient applications
Engineer a clear-cut strategy for achieving best-in-class results
Upgrade your system and embrace the exciting new features of the Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.1 platform
Build scalable, high-performance software with IBM's data grid
Design, implement, and monitor a successful Q replication and Event Publishing project
Last week’s blog entry Budgeting for IDUG North America conference as viewed by the DB2 Locksmith by guest Rebecca Bond was very popular, so I’ve asked Rebecca back for a second entry. Actually Rebecca did one for me like this last year as well. I figure that DBAs would benefit more if they hear from a DBA saying what sessions she plans to attend rather than me telling you what sessions are available for you to attend. Rebecca is on the LUW platform, so I’ll try to find a willing guest blogger to do something similar for the z/OS platform so that I’m able to satisfy as many people as possible.
I heart IDUG NA. It’s like a geeky vacation where I learn much, smile and laugh a lot with old and new friends and go home armed with a suitcase full of technical material. This year is especially exciting since I’m going to be presenting two sessions and will be one of the featured speakers for the Dine Around!
As I do almost every year, I plan to take advantage of the free certification testing. I place great value in DB2 certifications and can certainly see evidence on job boards that employers prefer certified employees. The fact that I can take these exams for free helps makes the conference registration cost a bargain.
Monday, May 2 offers Full Day Seminars presented by DB2 Rockstars. True, these are not free, but given that they are being delivered by experts, these seminars offer great benefit for the price. If you are also registered for the full conference, you can add on one of these seminars for $425. See this link for a list of Rockstars and Full Day Seminars. I have some personal plans for Monday, so I will not be able to attend a full day seminar this year.
Typically, I approach planning my conference agenda from the standpoint of “what information will best help with my current job?” This year, however, I’m looking at it from “what sessions are going to be most valuable to increase my DB2 knowledge as I look for my next job?” This time, I’m looking for sessions that will help round out my resume.
The keywords for me for this IDUG are:
pureScale, Performance Tuning, XML, Cloud, and, of course, Security.
The good news is that there are plenty of opportunities to attend sessions on these topics. The bad news is that there are plenty of opportunities to attend sessions on these topics. Until I can get a personal DB2 Locksmith clone (no, not a database clone), I am going to have to make some difficult decisions about which sessions to attend in person. All is not lost, however, since I will definitely download the handouts from all the sessions for later review. I believe that recordings of most of the sessions will be available to attendees after the conference wraps up. So, I won’t really miss anything, I’ll just postpone taking advantage of some of the information.
I have to say though, this year is especially tough because I’ve heard most of these speakers before and I know how good they are. There are SEVERAL Best Speaker award winners in the group. I think Scott Hayes said it best, “DB2’s Got Talent”! That is an equally fitting designation for this year’s IDUG speaker list. (By the way, the winner of the first ever DB2’s Got Talent competition will be at IDUG!)
I’m not going to list my full agenda, because I like to keep a few secrets, or at least that’s my cover story. The truth is I simply cannot decide, but here are some sessions that are high on my personal list of “musts” this year.
Tuesday, May 3:
General Session: Jeff Jonas, Chief Scientist, IBM Entity Analytics and IBM Distinguished Engineer
S02: Choose DB2 LUW and Save Your Company Money, 10:15, Tim Vincent
F01: DB2 and Cloud Computing: Why Should I Care? 12:45, Leon Katsnelson
G02: DB2 LUW Security -- What If Your Firewall Catches Fire, 2:00, Rebecca Bond (DB2 Locksmith)
D03: Best Practices in Action -- The IBM Smart Analytics System, 3:15, Eddie Daghelian
C04: Understanding and Tuning Page Cleaning in DB2, 4:30, Matthias Nicola
Wednesday, May 4:
D06: The Latest from the Lab on DB2 pureScale - Part 1, 9:45, Matt Huras
D07: The Latest from the Lab on DB2 pureScale - Part 2, 11:00, Matt Huras
E08: Real-World XML Application Development Patterns for DB2, 2:45, Fred Sobotka
Thursday, May 5:
C10: Improve Performance by Analyzing DB2 LUW Access Strategies, 9:45, Melanie Stopfer
D11: Workload Optimized Systems - Don't Run a Marathon in High Heels, 1:30, Chris Eaton
Friday, May 6:
G14: Security Secrets for DB2 LUW DBAs, 9:15, Rebecca Bond (DB2 Locksmith)
G15: Monitoring and Troubleshooting Distributed Access to DB2 for z/OS, 10:30, Cristian Molaro
Of course, I also have to find time to meet friends, have interesting technical discussions in the hall, visit the expo, perform the “exchange of business cards ritual” and find some time to get in a run or two. It is certainly going to be busy week, but it will also be a highly educational and entertaining one. When you see me, I hope you will say “Hi” and let me know how you approached choosing your agenda.
Thanks Rebecca! I must say I’m feeling quite sad that I won’t be there! I’ll send all my friends to your Dine Around Night.
About 6 weeks ago, IBM and Jeopardy made history by pitting a computer against human Jeopardy champions to see if IBM had created software that could “understand” the context in natural language. The project is dubbed “DeepQA”. Did you see the shows? There were three Jeopardy episodes and several on the background of creating the computer Watson. You can see the replays on Youtube.
The Face of Watson
IBM and the Jeopardy Challenge
IBM Watson Why Jeopardy
Jeopardy! IBM Watson Day 1, Part 1
Jeopardy! IBM Watson Day 2, Part 2
Jeopardy! IBM Watson Day 3
The day after IBM Watson won the match, we had one of the team’s engineers (Marshall Schorr) visit us at the Toronto Lab to tell us about the project and to answer questions. I stood up to ask a question, but first I made the following comment “If you’re looking for a sequel, get IBM Watson to help TV’s House with his very difficult medical cases".” I’ve seen similar comments from other people. Not that it will happen, but one of the best things about the software that was created is the possibility to help diagnose problems. After the Jeopardy show, it was announced that IBM would be working with Columbia University Medical Center and the University of Maryland Medical School on health care analytics research.
Of course the intention is NOT to REPLACE a physician, but only to assist a physician as you can read in this article “Why IBM’s artificial intelligence “Watson” could not replace a physician”. According to the video Perspectives on Watson: Healthcare, 20% of medical errors are diagnostic errors. Also, medical literature doubles every 7 years, making it physically impossible for any practitioner to read and absorb the information that they need.
I heard a story about a case that took medical professionals 6 months to diagnose. They fed the symptoms to Watson and diagnosed the issue in less than 30 minutes. Can you imagine how helpful this will be?
Another interesting thing that Watson would be able to do is to harness all the data generated by patients in hospitals around the world to determine if there are mini epidemics occurring or to see trends in medicines that might have unreported side effects. See articles “Dr. Watson, Please Report to the Health Care System” and “Treat the Patient, Not the CT Scan”.
Last year at the IBM Information on Demand Conference, we had guest speaker Dr. Atul Gawande speak to us. He did a book signing for his current book “Checklist Manifesto”. I liked the book so much that I’m now reading “Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science”. The book was published in 2003, but the chapter “The Computer and the Hernia Factor” could be read as a plea to have a supercomputer like IBM Watson helping to diagnose problems.
Personally I’ve seen times in my own medical experiences as a patient, where I would have completely welcomed my doctor consulting with Watson to help figure out what was going on.
My post yesterday featuring guest blogger Rebecca Bond was such a hit, that I thought I’d try again. My plan is to post something from each of the final contestants who took part in the DB2Night Show’s “DB2’s Got Talent” Competition. I’ve introduced you to the contestants in a series of blog entries, so I hope you feel like you “know” these people by now.
I would like to say a few words (I have a lot to say!, but I will try to keep it short) about the DB2 Night Show’s world wide db2 talent contest which concluded last Friday after several successful weeks and with many, many great DB2 tips and lots of useful information.
First, I would like to talk about my experience as a participant in this contest. This was my first time participating in such an event and it was such a positive experience for me. Apart from learning so many brilliant new ideas and creative ways of using DB2, this show has done so much to improve my personal skills in effective communication and has shown me how much more I can improve in that area just by listening to the other contestants.
I have listened to all the contestants from the beginning of the show and I am planning to do so again because some of the ideas were such brain teasers that I cannot resist going back to it. For example Ahmad’s tips on the high speed text search is going to be very useful to me and I am sure to everyone else working with XML data.
And I am going to miss Mary’s presentations, she has a unique style of presenting and I hope I can learn to be so creative in my future presentations. Norberto has a lot of expertise in visual communication skills apart from all his great technical tips and so on. I can keep going on all the contestants, everyone had something that I could learn from and I am sure all the audience feel that way too!
I want to thank the host of this event Scott Hayes and IDUG for a very unique experience! I think this was an innovative idea of conducting a contest through a webinar which I can predict is going to get very popular among all the technical communities!!
Thank you to all the judges Susan, Martin, Klaas and Cristian for their wonderful critique, it kept me motivated throughout this contest!
I still have a lot to talk about but I promised to keep it short , so I will stop here!
Susan, Thank you for letting me share my experience on this great show!
Have a great day everyone and don’t forget to register for the April 8th DB2Night Show event!
Hope to see everyone there!
She didn’t suggest that you watch the replays and vote, so I’ll do that! You’ll really enjoy the presentations and the tips you’ll learn. And as JB says, you can learn from the presenters to fine tune your presentation and teaching skills.
I've asked my good friend (and Information Champion) Rebecca Bond
to write a guest blog entry for me. She chose to write it about the upcoming IDUG conference
that is taking place May 2-5, 2011 in Anaheim California. As you will see, Rebecca is a gifted writer and I'm hoping she'll write another blog for me that talks about the sessions that she recommends.
Each year, in January, I look at my budget and try to determine if I can afford to go to IDUG. It occurred to me today that I am approaching this in the wrong way. The question I really should ask is “can I afford to NOT go to IDUG this year?” It paints the analysis in an entirely different way, doesn’t it?
Here’s why I think the IDUG value is … well … almost invaluable.
1. IDUG is an opportunity to learn from those who are “doing”. It’s not a sales convention. It’s not a marketing blitz. It’s just DB2 DBAs from all over the world doing what they do best….talking, presenting and learning about DB2.
2. The experience level of many of those attending is 20 years or more in their field. These DBAs have a LOT of practical DB2 knowledge and they are more than willing to share.
3. Since the sessions are related to 99% of my daily responsibilities, I am 100% sure I am going to learn tips, tricks and gotchas that will help keep me employed and employable.
4. The contacts I make are worth the conference cost. I can’t tell you how many times I have come back from IDUG with contact information for a new friend who was willing to share information long after IDUG was over. Ever had a puzzling DB2 question, but didn’t want to open a support ticket? These are the people who have the answers and I have never found a single one who wasn’t willing to help.
5. Free Certification Testing! Need I say more?
Ok, those were easy. Now let’s think about the cost of NOT going. That’s easy too.
1. I need knowledge to do my job effectively. I can’t go to training as often as I like, but at IDUG, I can get a LOT of information on a variety of relevant DB2 topics that will help me stay informed. It’s like multiple weeks of training rolled into one. That’s a cost advantage I cannot afford to miss!
2. Learning how other folks do things is going to give me solutions to make my tasks easier and potentially avoid errors. If I don’t attend IDUG, I’m missing out on these “lessons learned” opportunities.
3. I wouldn’t get access to those awesome presentation handouts that I am continually referring to. I save all my conference downloads, index them, and refer to them whenever I need to brush up on a skill. Not getting those would be a huge loss.
4. I wouldn’t find it as easy to stay “cutting edge”. We all know that technology is driven by innovation. Without access to “current”, how can I expect to think “future”?
I could go on, but these are the highlights. When I do the math, the cost of NOT going to IDUG North America is much greater than the conference cost! Hope I’ll see you at IDUG!
Here's some information about Rebecca that I'd like to share with you:
Books can be expensive… I know because I’m an avid reader and having go used to using a library! I tend to look for books on sale but also I have switched primarily to ebooks as the price is normally quite a bit lower than the printed book.
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To help you decide, listen to a podcast featuring an author: Podcast Series, or get the e-Sampler with select chapters for you to read to decide. Still not sure about reading an e-book? Check out my blog, Can you possibly love reading more than you already do?