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Teradata Basics


  • Tera-Tom on Teradata Basics by Morgan Jones and Tom Coffing ISBN:0970498012Coffing Data Warehousing 2001 (125 pages) Both management and IT will understand this masterpiece written by the world's top authorities on Teradata and data warehousing, describing how Teradata is built to achieve data warehouse utopia. Table of Contents

    Introduction TeradataThe Shining Star Teradata Databases, Users and Space Data Protection Loading the Data ConclusionA Final Thought on Teradata

    Tera-Tom on Teradata BasicsTeradata Explained Through Unimaginable Simplicity

    Tera-Tom on Teradata BasicsTeradata Explained Through Unimaginable Simplicity Tom Coffing Morgan Jones

    First Edition 2001

    Web Page: http://www.Tera-Tom.com E-Mail addresses: Tom: Tcoffing@aol.com

    Teradata, NCR, and BYNET are registered trademarks of NCR Corporation, Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A., IBM and DB2 are registered trademarks of IBM Corporation, ORACLE is a registered trademark of Oracle, SYBASE is a registered trademark of SYBASE, ANSI is a registered trademark of the American National Standards Institute. In addition to these products names, all brands and product names in this document are registered names or trademarks of their respective holders.

    Coffing Data Warehousing shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damages arising from the information contained in this book or from the use of programs or program segments that are included. The manual is not a publication of NCR Corporation, nor was it produced in conjunction with NCR Corporation.

    Copyright 2001 Coffing Publishing

  • All rights reserved. No part of this book shall be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the publisher. No patent liability is assumed with respect to the use of information contained herein. Although every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this book, the publisher and author assume no responsibility for errors or omissions, neither is any liability assumed for damages resulting from the use of information contained herein. For information, address:

    Coffing Publishing 7810 Kiester Rd. Middletown, OH 45042


    All terms mentioned in this book that are known to be trademarks or service have been stated. Coffing Publishing cannot attest to the accuracy of this information. Use of a term in this book should not be regarded as affecting the validity of any trademark or service mark.

    Acknowledgements and Special Thanks

    This book is dedicated to Americans and friends of liberty and freedom

    We also want to thank our wives Leona Coffing and Janie Jones

    Thanks to a great editor and friend Cheryl N. Buford

    Introduction Overview

    A full 40% of Fortune's "U.S. Most Admired" companies use Teradata. What do they know that your company needs to know? I've been in the computer business for more than 27 years. I've witnessed so much since the early days of punch cards, assembler languages, and COBOL programming. With that in mind, the most magnificent, ingenious technology that I've ever seen is a database from the NCR Corporation called "Teradata."

    "The wave of the future is coming and there is no fighting it."

    Anne Morrow Lindbergh

    Teradata is absolutely the wave of the future in data warehousing. I introduced this technology to a great friend, Morgan Jones. He immediately recognized that Teradata is the gold standard for all data warehousing, and as a result, we've partnered to write this book. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy. With our guidance, you will soon realize why Teradata is the greatest technology on the planet!

    The Ten Rules of Data Warehousing

    What weapon was deemed so powerful that experts claimed it would end all wars? Believe it or not, it was the crossbow! Throughout history, people have improved technology and advanced society through foresight and ingenuity. Just when we think something is impossible it becomes a reality. Who would have dreamed we could

  • send a person to the moon, or that someone could run a mile in under four minutes? Ingenuity and the desire to improve are attributes of the human race, and both are found in numerous avenues, from sports to business.

    "Expect the unexpected, or you won't find it."

    Roger von Oech

    When Frank Lloyd Wright began to design the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, he discovered the unexpected: just eight feet below the surface of the ground lay a sixty-foot bed of soft mud. Since Japan is a land of frequent shakes and tremors Wright was faced with what appeared to be an insurmountable obstacle. This gave him an idea: Why not float the Imperial Hotel building on the bed of mud, and let it absorb the shock of any quake? Critics and cynics alike laughed at such an impossible idea. Frank Lloyd Wright built the hotel anyway. Shortly after the grand opening of the hotel, Japan suffered its worst earthquake in fifty-two years. All around Tokyo buildings were destroyed, but the Imperial Hotel stood firm.

    For a long time the mainframe and OLTP industry laughed at those who recommended the data warehouse design principles set forth in this book. But those companies that build one based upon these rules will join the ranks of the elite. Consider this: ten of the Top 13 global communications companies use Teradata; nine of the top 16 global retailers use Teradata; and eight of the top 20 global banks use Teradata.

    The ability to continually improve is one of Teradata's greatest strengths. The database was designed in 1976 and has continually improved ever since. Teradata has averaged one data warehouse installation per week for the past decade. Through continual improvement based on customer feedback from many of the largest data warehouse sites, Teradata has been able to identify itself as "the data warehouse of choice for award winning data warehouses."

    This book begins with the 10 cardinal rules to follow for data warehouse success. It illustrates how Teradata helps customers follow these rules. Then it explains the brilliance of how Teradata works. By the end, the reader will have a real grasp of essential Teradata concepts.

    Rule # 1 - Start Building Towards A Central Data Warehouse

    Moments after midnight on July 30, 1945, the Navy cruiser "USS Indianapolis," suffered a fatal torpedo hit from a Japanese submarine. It had been traveling unescorted through the Philippine Sea. Within 12 minutes of the deadly hit, the ship sank. Over 300 men were killed and nearly 900 were stranded in shark-infested seas. Tragically, those who survived until daylight faced four tortuous days in the water, and battled continuous shark attacks before being stumbled upon by a passing ship. In the end, only 316 souls survived. With a crew of 1,199 people, this was one of the worst military disasters of World War II for the United States.

    Most people assume that war is cruel, but the heart-wrenching story above becomes even more tragic when the following facts are revealed: First, the ship's captain did not have all of the facts, and second, the Navy did not provide the captain with a single version of the truth. The Captain's request for a destroyer escort was denied even though the regional Naval command knew another ship had been attacked just two days earlier, plus multiple enemy sightings had occurred within the previous five days. Not only were these crucially relevant facts withheld, but also the captain of the "Indianapolis" was told that his passage route was clear and there would be no need for a destroyer escort.

    "To withhold news is to play God."

    John Hess

  • Had everyone involved with the "USS Indianapolis" adhered to a single version of the truth, with detail data to back them up, this disaster may have never occurred. Likewise, if your company doesn't maintain detail data in a Centralized Data Warehouse, you will never know which version of the truth to believe. Each division of a business will have its own view of the truth. Summarized data, such as a data mart, does have its place in knowledge management, but it should always be built from the detail data within the central data warehouse.

    Most companies don't have a Central Data Warehouse. Why? Because they don't have proper leadership or direction. Company leaders often let different branches of the company create data marts that are effective short-term solutions. These solutions are based on departmental leadership that is most interested in short-term solutions. Such leaders don't plan on being with a particular department forever, so they are only interested in keeping things simple, controlled, and beneficial to them.

    "We're all in this alone."

    Lily Tomlin

    For example, imagine a company that made cars on an assembly line. Instead of using a giant plant with the latest and greatest technology, the company builds cars in 300 small garages. Each garage is owned by a different department, and has different needs. In addition, every user has his access restricted to his or her garage. With this structure, leaders feel safe, but building cars, logistically, is a nightmare. In fact, just moving cars from one garage to the next would be a joke. This scenario may seem simple-minded, but that is how most data warehouses are built. Each part of some data warehouses operates alone.

    Now, imagine a giant car assembly plant where the assembly line was managed by the idea of "There is no I in Team." This plant would continually improve processes, finding better ways to work together. Everyone has an idea what the others are doing, and new ideas are welcome. Management is able to run the entire plant with one team of dedicated professionals, and decisions are made cooperatively, concisely, and clearly.

    This style of management is the idea behind a central data warehouse. From the top layer of management down through the entire company, they are one solid team. A data warehouse experienced team saves valuable money and resources, plus users can manage the entire data warehouse. Executives may ask any question targeted to any part of the business. Decisions are made with long-term vision, and every employee is confident that when they need answers - the data warehouse will provide them.

    "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."

    Isaac Newton

    When asked how he had discovered the Law of Gravity, Isaac Newton did not grab all of the glory for himself. He claimed that his work stood on the foundation of those early scientists who had gone before him. Likewise, a central data warehouse allows users to stand on the shoulders of another giant. This giant, built right, allows major corporations to make decisions and act on those decisions quickly.

    In 1993, I was asked to train one of the world's largest retailers on its Teradata data warehouse. I flew to Bentonville, Arkansas, and an employee met me at the airport then escorted me to the classroom. As we walked down the hallways, most employees seemed to be at a pace I had never seen before. They were practically running. I asked, "What's up?" "Why is everyone hurrying?" The employee replied, "It's work time!" I was shocked. In all of places I had previously worked, we strolled. This place had a leadership that I've never encounteredanywhere. H. Ross Perot described this kind of team when he said, "When building a team, I first look for people who love to win, if I can't find any of those, then I look for people who hate to lose." This was a concise team of employees so motivated and so empowered that they thought they could take over the world!

  • As I grew to know the team, I asked them how long it took top management to make a decision. And how long did it take to implement that decision at thousands of stores nationwide. They simply said, "About two hours!" I was amazed. Today, this team continues to have one of the single greatest data warehouses ever built. They use it extensively and it grows stronger every day.

    While visiting with this team, management decided at one point that stores across the country should place Halloween displays and candy near the cash registers. In less than two hours, stores moved their Halloween candy from the normal candy aisles to end-caps near the cash register. Every store participated but one!

    When asked why he didn't participate, the store manager said he had simply run out of time to create the displays plus move the Halloween candy from his normal candy aisle to the end-caps. Management was ticked. Telling the manager they would get back to him, they then asked the DBA to query the data warehouse to see how much this snafu had cost the company. The DBA came back and reported that the store actually sold almost the same amount of Halloween candy as forecasted. Management was surprised and honestly a little disappointed with the answer. But then the DBA added somewhat sheepishly, "I found something else, too." "Go ahead", replied members of the management team. He said, "I found out they actually sold about 40% more normal candy then we forecasted for this holiday." Management got on the phone immediately and told the other thousand stores: "Move those goblins and Halloween candy back to the normal candy aisles!"

    What that DBA did was to use his instinct and the data warehouse to find out exactly what was going on with the business at that time. He was armed with a system that had cross-functional analysis. A central data warehouse gives good management great confidence because they see the whole picture. When users can ask any question, at any time, and on any data, their knowledge is unlimited.

    Most Teradata Central Data Warehouse sites will tell you most of their Return On Investment (ROI) came from areas they never suspected. Thomas Jefferson once said, "We don't know one millionth of a percent about anything." When we explained Teradata to Jefferson he did not build another Monticello, but he did retract his statement! Companies with a centralized data warehouse know about a million percent more than companies that have invested in stovepipe applications and 300 different data marts.

    Actually, any company planning on competing in this millennium must think long-term and begin building a centralized data warehouse. If not, that company will be on the short end of the stick when competing with a company that chose to build one. That thought should sound scarier than a goblin near the cash registers on Halloween!

    If you think about it, every major decision in business makes someone happy. If you are armed with facts supported by a central data warehouse and you do your homework, your business decisions will make your shareholders happy. However, if you are making decisions with a data mart strategy, those decisions are more likely to make your competitors happy.

    There are many companies that are fearful of such an undertaking. They want a central data...


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