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From the Editor

It’s Not a Data Problem

People may not always like what the data shows, but heroes have the data ready.

By Tom Haunert

November/December 2018

As a tech watcher, I notice references to IT in fiction—movies, television, novels, and so on. Depending on the reference, I may laugh, groan, wonder why, or—at least this once—find a reason for a thank you.

I was watching the new Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan television series recently and was surprised to hear the titular character say, “…dealing with two databases that aren’t meant to talk to one another…. That’s why I’ve actually written a custom SQL query.”

“Next,” says Ryan’s new boss. And someone else starts talking.

Wait. What?

Putting aside any explanation of how this “custom SQL query” works, what is this reference doing in a meeting where staffers are introducing themselves to their new boss and describing what they’re working on? And why is the main character, not “the IT guy,” talking about IT?

Ryan’s statement about SQL followed what was supposed to be a snarky, unanswerable or, at the very least, rhetorical question. The boss asked Ryan, an analyst at the CIA, how he alone had gotten the data to support his conclusion, but the boss really didn’t want that explanation or support—because Ryan’s conclusion was that there may be a deadly new terrorist threat in the making.

Answers at the Ready

Inspired by this particular fictional scene, I tip my cap to all the real-world data experts who are providing support for unpopular or unwelcome—but accurate—conclusions. You may not hear a lot of thank yous, but you are real-life data heroes. Thank you.

Finally, I’m looking forward to seeing all data heroes and aficionados who can make it to Oracle OpenWorld and Oracle Code One 2018 in San Francisco, October 22 to 25. Stop by the Oracle Publishing booth in Moscone West to say hello!

Next Steps

BUILD your OpenWorld 2018 schedule (registration required).

TRY Oracle Autonomous Database Cloud.

LEARN more about Oracle security.

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Photography by Bob Adler/Studio at Getty Images for Oracle