Visualization Session at OOW Unconference

OOW is next week, and on Monday, October 12, 4:00pm PST, I’ll be giving my unconference session about visualization.

Visualization is a big topic. What I’m going to talk about is:

  1. Why visualization is such an amazing tool for DBAs. Not just for newbies, it is actually more effective for experienced DBAs. I’ll explain why.
  2. Lots of examples of how you can use different graphs to explore your data set from different angles. I’ll show you some graphs you are familiar with (Histograms), and some that you probably don’t use (QQNorm). I’ll explain when to use each graph type.
  3. Stories about visualization – how a visualization mistake caused a manager to panic and cancel an important maintenance for instance.
  4. Some suggestions on how to format graphs so they’ll have maximum effect in documents, emails and presentations.
  5. If anyone is interested, I can show how I work with R to do visual data analysis. But its not in the slides, so you’ll have to ask for it.

One thing I will not mention:

Edward Tufte.

I know that everyone who talks about visualization talks about him, but I won’t. He does those amazing graphs and demonstrates how powerful visualization can be. I use Excel and R to create my graphs. They are not beautiful or amazing, and they can still be very very effective. This means that you will be able to easily reproduce everything I do in my presentation. You don’t need to be a talented designer to use graphs effectively.

See you on Monday!

6 Comments on “Visualization Session at OOW Unconference”

  1. […] Visualization Session at OOW Unconference « I'm just a simple DBA on a complex production system – view page – cached OOW is next week, and on Monday, October 12, 4:00pm PST, I’ll be giving my unconference session about visualization. — From the page […]

  2. Dr Queues says:

    You will be mentioning these fine works. Right?

    “Multidimensional Visualization of Oracle Performance Using Barry007”

    “Seeing It All at Once with Barry” (animations)

    BTW: Tukey trumps Tifte. 🙂

    You are also invited to join our PerfViz group and give us the DBA’s view of visualization

    • prodlife says:

      I think that Barry-centric triangles are too advanced for my presentation. Also, I don’t have any good war story that uses this technique yet.

      Thanks for reminding me. I should definitely dedicate a slide and few minutes to Tukey!

  3. chet says:

    good luck! wish i could be there.

  4. Ben Weiss says:

    Hi Chen,

    I’m a long time lurker on your truly outstanding blog. Good luck with the visualization presentation. Two potential tools to aid, albeit tangentially, in visualization.

    My own free Data-Getter Excel tool. It makes it easy to retrieve data from Oracle, Access, and SQL Server into Excel spreadsheets. Then you can graph away. You can save and reuse your own query combinations and batch jobs. Download at

    Oracle APEX: I’ve found the flash graphs quite easy to use. APEX requires a few hours to get installed, and then 2 to 4 days to get comfortable with the dev environment. Then you can use database links to point it toward various data sources which you may wish to graph.

    Ben Weiss

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s