Speaker Spotlight Column: Graham Witt on Data Modeling

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edw2013-speaker-spotlightby Charles Roe

In an effort to leverage the knowledge of several of the top minds in the Data Management industry, DATAVERSITY™ has been conducting a series of interviews on some of the most relevant topics in the field today. Recently, we interviewed Graham Witt, the Associate Director at Ajilon.

Graham will be giving a workshop at the Enterprise Data World 2013 Conference in San Diego, CA from April 28-May 2, 2013. The session is titled “Data Modeling Masterclass.”

The Speaker Spotlight Column (and its parallel venture the Sponsor Spotlight Column) is an ongoing project that focuses on highlighting several of the central issues represented at the many Data Management conferences produced by DATAVERSITY.

The primary emphasis of the interview was to question Graham on his work and history within the industry, with particular importance on his session at the upcoming conference:

DATAVERSITY (DV): Please tell us a little about yourself and your history in the industry e.g role at company (as opposed to job title), past experience and how you got started in the data profession)?

Graham Witt (GW): I have over 30 years of experience in assisting businesses to acquire relevant and effective IT solutions, having started as a programmer, then systems analyst, database designer, data modeller, solution architect and information management generalist.
I have presented papers at conferences in Australia, the US, the UK and France, as well as meetings of DAMA (the Data Management Association) and ACS (the Australian Computer Society).

I have created and delivered training courses in data modelling, database design and business rules.

DV: What’s the focus of the work do you currently do within your organization?

GW: Services I currently provide cover business requirements, information management, user interface design, data modelling, relational database design, data quality, data migration and business rules.

DV: What is the biggest change going on in your particular area of the industry at this time?

GW: Big Data seems to be the biggest, but the increasing focus on business rules is also important.

DV: How does such a change affect your job?

GW: My perspective is on the semantics and quality of data rather than its quantity, so will Big Data won’t affect the way I analyse data requirements, business rules certainly do.

DV: What are you going to discuss during your session at Enterprise Data World and what will the audience gain from attending your talk? (Please be specific about one or two issues you’ll be addressing, and the benefits the audience will obtain).

GW: I’m conducting a data modelling masterclass in which I’m going to tackle some of the challenges in correctly modelling such things as the time dimension, rules and generalisation, as well as involving the business in the modelling process.  I’m also speaking on the design of XML message schemas.

DV: How has your job, and/or the work you’re doing at your organization, changed in the past 12 months?  How do you expect it to change in the next 1-2 years?

GW: The global financial crisis has reduced organisations’ budgets for IT services, so they want even more value for money.  As for the future I see no paradigm shift: rather a continuation of steady development of useful techniques to give organisations more bang for their IT buck, while the industry runs around in circles trying to come up with new things with which to dazzle us.

DV: More broadly speaking, what do you believe is the most significant change happening in Enterprise Data at this time?

GW: Big Data of course.

DV: How is Big Data going to affect your job (in your organization) in future?

GW: Not much (see earlier answers).

DV: What is something noteworthy about yourself that you would like to tell the conference attendees and our readers that they may not know?

GW: Of my many passions, the one most relevant to information management is my love of language: it is the most powerful tool we have to describe requirements and yet we so often misuse it.


If you are interested in attending Graham’s session at EDW2013, please see the conference schedule at:

His session is on Monday, April 29th at 8:30am.

About Enterprise Data World:

Enterprise Data World is the business world’s most comprehensive educational event about data and information management. Over five days, EDW presents a diverse schedule of programming that addresses every level of proficiency, including keynotes, workshops, tutorials, case studies, and discussions.

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