Data Warehousing in the age of big data. The end of an era?

Uli Bethke

The hype around big data technologies has reached fever pitch levels. Marketing departments go into overdrive and come up with cool new buzzwords every day. If we believe the vendors, big data tools can cure world hunger :-). But do schemas on read, data lakes, query offloads, and the Hadoops of this world really deliver?  Can they tame the growing data volumes and prevent the data warehouse from bursting at the seams? What about growing license costs? And are there techniques to shorten the data warehouse lifecycle? We all know it takes forever to get a subject area into the EDW.

In this presentation I will share my experience in big data warehousing with you. What works and what doesn’t. Where are the opportunities and limitations of big data tools and concepts and where are we better off sticking with traditional technologies.

The presentation is a condensed version of my popular training course Big Data for Data Warehouse Professionals.

We will cover the following areas in detail

  • Data warehousing in the big data age
  • Relational databases (MPP) vs Hadoop for data warehousing.
  • Data warehouse offload. What is it? Is it useful?
  • Data lakes and self-service. Just hype or useful design pattern?
  • The caveats of dimensional modeling on big data technologies


Uli has 18 years’ hands on experience as a consultant, architect, and manager in the data industry. He frequently speaks at conferences. Uli has architected and delivered data warehouses in Europe, North America, and South East Asia. He is a traveler between the worlds of traditional data warehousing and big data technologies.

Uli ( is a regular contributor to blogs and books, holds an Oracle ACE award, and chairs the Hadoop User Group Ireland. He is also a co-founder and VP of the Irish chapter of DAMA, a non for profit global data management organization. He has co-founded the Irish Oracle Big Data User Group.

Uli holds degrees in political science from Freie Universität Berlin, Albrecht Ludwigs Universität Freiburg, and the University of Ulster, Coleraine.

Last but not least, Uli is the CEO of Sonra (, the data liberation company. Sonra develops Flexter (, a tool to automate the conversion of complex XML to a database, text, or Hadoop.

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