DMC Latam day #1 report

On Wednesday the DMC Latam 2013 chapter Brazil took place in Braston Hotel. The hotel is located on Augusta Street, in downtown. Augusta used to be a bohemian area, but it is near Roosevelt Square, Consolacao Church and other touristic points now.

Being a programmer, after I arrived at DMC Latam, I was astonished by the number of people wearing suits - and I wearing an ol’ T-shirt. Many participants were foreigners, but there were also many Brazilian executive, managers and a few programmers.

The first talk of the day was by Sue Geuens, DAMA International operational director, from South Africa. She talked about data management, her experiences and difficulties working in the CDO team. I had no idea there were so many committees and meeting to discuss data management in a big corporation:-) I loved her closing sentence: “Make data governance. fun. By making it fun, you will make people want to work with you”.

Lola de Oliveira was the second speaker, with the talk “Eficiencia no tratamento e utilizacao de informacoes”. Lola works at Boa Vista, a local credit bureau. Any Brazilian knows that if they do not pay his bills, his name can “get dirty” (ficar sujo). The vast amount of data that Boa Vista handles every day, and its processes and types of services are very interesting.

The talk was more about the process, how to find the right data and avoid inserting false information into the database. But what is really interesting, is that while other speakers complained about difficulties in getting business understanding the importance of data within a company, one of the most valuable assets of Boa Vista, is data. So the opposite is true, and the company is based on data acquisition and treatment.

After a coffee break, time to listen to ASG’s Ian Rowlands, on supporting data governance. And I was delighted to listen during his personal presentation, that he is a programmer - everybody knows nobody stops being a programmer :-) -, and that he started with Assembly.

I learned a new meaning for KDE (yup, not the window manager): key data elements. And, the most important, I learned a lot about metadata and a little more about data governance. His talk was on of the funniest and more instructive in the event.

Last talk before lunch. Oscar Asakura and Sheila Aniceto showed us a success case at BMF Bovespa. Oscar gave a brief explanation on EBITDA and why is that important for a company. In the sequence Sheila explained more about BMF Bovespa. BMF Bovespa (or Bovespa as it is also known) is the Brazilian stock exchange, located at Sao Paulo.

The problem with good food, is that you usually get sleepy after eating it. But there was another good talk, by Dormevilly Tertius and a professional from CCEE. Unfortunately I couldn’t get her name, and it wasn’t listed in the speakers sheet. I think CCEE changed the speaker. They both gave a general overview on how CCEE applied data governance and what tools they used. Probably CCEE has a lot of data to handle, since all the data about energy sold in Brazil passes by its computers.

Gustavo Leal, from Localiza Rent a Car, not only explained data quality, but also brought some monitoring graphs that are used at Localiza – some reminded me of the graphs plotted with Graphite. This was one of my favorite talks. Gustavo didn’t enter into technical details, but gave told us a little of what kinds of technologies (JMS, ESB, Canonical Models, among others) they were using at Localiza.

He also didn’t enter into details about the data governance, but gave examples and tried to explain some of the scenarios they had. I believe I understood more about data quality and how it fits into data governance, as well as the importance of IT for data management.

Big Data! I hadn’t heard anything about Big Data till Alexis Zlocowski talk. He had another co-worker with him, but his name wasn’t listed in the program. They both talked about Hadoop and its history (Google, Yahoo!), but also pointed the importance of assessing the necessity of a Hadoop project for Big Data. This was one of the talks with the most questions for the speakers.

What I really liked, was that they gave special emphasis on the necessity to think well, before simply buying software, or blindly adopting technologies in the company.

Last talk, Kewal Dhariwal. Not only talking about data, but also gave a good lecture on culture differences :-) Always good to learn new things. His talk was more business-oriented. I could understand parts of his talk, but of course I was again thrilled to learn he is also a programmer \o/

I’ve always thought that our academics and the enterprise worlds in Brazil had a huge gap between them, but maybe it is slowly changing. Although Kewal mentioned several success cases, I’ve heard more and more about projects incubated at universities, as well as software being created at local universities. So hopefully this scenario is changing here too.

Most talks mentioned data management, data governance, data quality and other data-related topics. But there were also talks mentioning social media and unstructured data, big data, data analysis, and systems integration. I came to the event with a programmer point of view of data management. But I feel that my awareness about the data management within a company has improved a lot.