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Message Posted: Mon, 19 Mar 2001 @ 22:46:42 GMT

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Subj:   Re: Creation table by end user-developer
From:   Ken Hansen

One of the key advantages offered by Teradata is the relative ease with which multiple databases can be managed and in which power-users may be allocated space in which they may create and maintain temporary or departmental tables.

Use depends upon wether your Teradata provides access to data extracted from source systems or has the data cleansed and homogenised in a single enterprise database covering all sources.

Typically users would load such tables with subsets of data from source tables and/or with their own data which they may use as criteria to select data from the main tables. Obviously they will need training particularly to ensure data is spread across across the nodes and to avoid attempts to join inconsistent data types. However, modern tools, such a Hummingbird's BI Suite, facilitate and even encourage running query results to temporary tables and subsequent dynamic links to other tables or views on the same graphic data model.

Business data-analysts who are unable to create tables are driven to down-load large volumes of data to departmental servers where the users can undertake the analysis they want. That behaviour may be clean and simple for the Teradata team but negatively impacts network traffic and the spend on departmental PCs and Servers as well as side-lining the Teradata team. No Teradata team can conceivably create, manage and load every temporary table the business users want.

"Letting go" is difficult in most IT cultures but offers the Teradata Team the opportunity to be seen as "enablers" - giving users the ability to analyse the data as they want - instead of "a bottleneck" - inhibiting the business data analysts. This approach can usefully harness the energy and knowledge of hundreds of business data analysts who then help build the business meta-data - particularly important where data is sourced from a variety of systems and poorly understood across the business as a whole.

Experience shows that in practice relatively few users need the authority to create and load tables and they may well be satisfied by very little space. It is not unreasonable for the cost of extra space (temporary and any archives) and training/supporting such users to be passed on to respective business areas. Such a structure also enables the Teradata team to focus on developing tables and databases where their skills and experience are critical to realising the business benefits within the available timeframe, without stopping everything else.

Ken Hansen
Ivy House Associates

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