Steve Hoberman Becomes Ellie’s New Senior Advisor
A couple of weeks ago, something big happened in our team. Our team got another Senior Advisor on board. He has been a data modeler for over 30 years now, and thousands of business and data professionals have completed his Data Modeling Master Class. He is an industry legend and considered the no. 1 expert in data modelling. He is also the author of nine books on data modeling, including The Rosedata Stone and Data Modeling Made Simple. Not only this, but he is also the author of Blockchainopoly. We are proud to make it official that Steve Hoberman is now Senior Advisor for Ellie!
One of Steve’s frequent data modeling consulting assignments is to review data models using his Data Model Scorecard® technique. He is the founder of the Design Challenges group, creator of the Data Modeling Institute’s Data Modeling Certification exam, Conference Chair of the Data Modeling Zone conferences, director of Technics Publications, lecturer at Columbia University, and recipient of the Data Administration Management Association (DAMA) International Professional Achievement Award.
Well, obviously Steve becoming our Senior Advisor is a significant milestone for us! We have asked a bunch of questions from Steve, and without further ado, let us move on to the questions and answers section with Steve Hoberman.
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Question: You’ve been a data modeler for 30 years now, and you run a master class on ‘Data Modeling’. We are very curious to know about your journey of becoming a data modeler. Could you tell us how you started with data modeling?
Steve: I graduated from Queens College in 1990 – that was a long time ago! Bellcore in New Jersey hired me, and they gave me a choice of being a network engineer, a computer programmer, or a data modeler. The data modeler role sounded the most interesting to me, as I would be working with a group of data modelers to create a blueprint for the entire phone industry. Except for four years period, when I was a programmer for a candy company, I have always been a data modeler – and even when I was writing code, I was still thinking like a data modeler 🙂
Question: What made you choose the path of pursuing data modeling as a career?
Steve: I didn’t know what a data modeler did. Still, I remember reading the multi-page job description of the network engineer and programmer roles and then seeing just a short three-sentence job description for a data modeler, which I can still summarize as “need someone to help us redesign the business”, and this seemed very cool and the easiest for me to understand. I was also afraid of a two-page job description :L).
Question: Do you think data modeling is a vital part of businesses and if yes, then why?
Steve: Without a doubt. How can we conduct business or create applications unless we understand the business and the requirements? The conceptual data model helps us develop a common business language, so we use terms such as ‘Customer’ and ‘Account’ consistently. The more detailed logical data model precisely captures the business requirements, and then the physical model tailors these business requirements for a particular technology set. Imagine trying to have a meaningful conversation about customers without understanding a customer or building an application without knowing the precise requirements? Data modeling is necessary for the success of any business initiative.
Question: Why did you choose to join Ellie as a Senior Advisor?
Steve: A gap exists between IT and data governance on many projects. There are data governance/business analyst tools, and then there are data design/development tools. I don’t see many connections between the two, yet Ellie seems to fill this gap. It allows users to build a conceptual data model and develop a business glossary that is essential for data governance. I see a tool with a strong foundation and purpose. I see myself as someone who can offer some guidance on future features and make organizations aware of this powerful tool that fills this data governance/data design niche.
Question: What’s the best thing about Ellie from a user’s point of view?
Steve: I love the idea of a shared glossary and how these terms can be used across the conceptual data models.
Question: What had been the single most significant learning in your career?
Steve: I worked on Wall Street for five years and learned to complete the data modeling deliverables quickly and iteratively (Agile). I also learned how to convince project managers why data modeling is so important. I think these were the two most significant learnings.
Question: What’s the one piece of advice you want to give to all the data modelers?
Steve: Connect our work to something the business feels is very important. It could be data governance or a large integration/analytics project, or a reengineering effort – if we can show how data modeling adds value to something important, we become important too.
Wrapping it up
It feels incredible and accomplished knowing that a personality like Steve found Ellie interesting and has decided to guide and help us grow at an accelerated pace. We believe that we will be even bigger and stronger under his direction.
Welcome to the team, Steve!