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  • A surrogate key without an alternate key, can it be?

    A surrogate key is a unique identifier for a table, often a simple counter created by developers or database administrators. In my classes, I strongly recommend tagging what the “real” primary key is in the table – that is, the one that a business professional would...

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    Steve Hoberman
  • What decade is this quote from?

    One of the most important books in our field is William Kent’s, Data and Reality, which was published back in….well a long time ago. Technics Publications has the honor of republishing this book, and I have updated this 3rd edition with my commentary. Graeme Simsion has...

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    Steve Hoberman
  • Batman vs the Evil Definitions

    Batman once said, “It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.” Can we apply this same reasoning when defining key terms on our data models? It can be a daunting task to define a simple term such as “Customer”, but it...

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    Steve Hoberman
  • Data Modeling in Business Class

    I recently traveled overseas, and with a combination of flying status on this airline and a bit of luck, I was able to upgrade from economy to business class. A nice airy cabin, comfortable seat, attentive flight attendants – one of the flight attendants introduced herself...

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    Steve Hoberman
  • From Data Modeler to Data Scientist

    The October issue of The Harvard Business Review declared “data scientist” the Sexiest Job of the 21st Century. After getting over my disappointment that “data modeler” was not chosen, I started thinking, So what’s the difference between a data modeler and data scientist anyway? To learn...

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    Steve Hoberman