How to create a data model that can keep up with your evolving mental model.

My new year's resolution was to do more blogging and in January I wrote a blog about 12 things related to data, people, projects, and innovation that I believe we need to approach differently. The very first item in my 12 item list included the statement: "We need to shift away from thinking of our data as individual tables and towards realizing its one big network. We need to mine it not by building lists but by making maps."

In this blog I'd like to delve more deeply into what I meant by that and invite you to try the first step of building your own map. If you decide to enter the "mental model challenge" you can win some cool Exaptive swag and tickets to the ISPIM innovation conference in Copenhagen in June that you can join either physically or virtually! Even if you don't win, I think you'll find the exercise illuminating, so I hope you'll try it.

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Finding Abstractions that Give Data Applications 'Flight'

Continuing with our recent theme of abstraction in data applications, Dave King gave a talk last month explaining his design principles for "Making Code Sing: Finding the Right Abstractions." Nailing the best abstractions is a quintessential software challenge. We strive for generality, flexibility, and reuse, but we are often forced to compromise in order to get the details right for one particular use case. We end up with projects that we know have amazing potential for use in other applications but are too hardcoded to make repurposing easy. It’s frustrating to see the possibilities locked away, just out of reach.

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