A Tale of Two Seas

March 8, 2011
185 Views

A friend of mine sent an interesting article recently which highlights the differences between the Dead Sea and Sea of Galilee which I reproduce below. I have included pictures of Dead Sea and Sea of Galilee from Google Images to enhance the article.

 

 

 

A friend of mine sent an interesting article recently which highlights the differences between the Dead Sea and Sea of Galilee which I reproduce below. I have included pictures of Dead Sea and Sea of Galilee from Google Images to enhance the article.

 

 

 

“I recall how fascinated I was when we were being taught about the Dead Sea in Geography class at school. As you may know, the Dead Sea is really a lake, not a sea (and as my Geography teacher pointed out, if you understood that, it would guarantee 4 marks in the term paper!). It is so high in salt content that the human body can float easily. You can almost lie down and read a book! The salt in the Dead Sea is as high as 35% – almost 10 times the normal ocean water. And all that saltiness has meant that there is no life at all in the Dead Sea. No fish. No vegetation. No sea animals. Nothing lives in the Dead Sea. And hence the name: Dead Sea (see Figure 1).

 

Dead Sea

 

While the Dead Sea has remained etched in my memory, I don’t seem to recall learning about the Sea of Galilee in my school Geography lesson. So when I heard about the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea and the tale of the two seas – I was intrigued. It turns out that the Sea of Galilee is just north of the Dead Sea. Both the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea receive their water from river Jordan. And yet, they are very, very different.

Unlike the Dead Sea, the Sea of Galilee is pretty, resplendent with rich, colourful marine life (see Figure 2). There are lots of plants and lots of fish too! In fact, the Sea of Galilee is home to over twenty different types of fishes.

 

Sea of Galilee

 

Same region, same source of water, and yet while one sea is full of life, the other is dead. How come?

The River Jordan flows into the Sea of Galilee and then flows out. The water simply passes through the Sea of Galilee in and then out – and that keeps the Sea healthy and vibrant, teeming with marine life.

But the Dead Sea is so far below the mean sea level, that it has no outlet. The water flows in from the river Jordan, but does not flow out. There are no outlet streams. It is estimated that over a million tons of water evaporate from the Dead Sea every day, leaving it salty, full of minerals and unfit for any marine life”.

Just as the water flowing in and out of the Sea of Galilee, data is the lifeblood of an enterprise. Investigating and analysing data provides a corporation with insight on where it has been and how the business got to where it is, while studying data trends provides an understanding of where the organisation is going and what might be needed for the next step or to change direction.

Many organisations claim to have a data warehouse by virtue of collecting large volumes of data onto a single platform into a single database technology. Oftentimes, the data is organised into groups of tables that look suspiciously like the online transaction processing system files from which they were sourced. These implementations qualify more as data dumping grounds than data warehouses, effectively resembling the Dead Sea. While the data may be consolidated onto a single platform in such deployments, it is likely that it has not been integrated for effective decision support

An enterprise data warehouse, when properly planned and executed provides the integration of data into relational technologies that facilitate navigation and analysis across multiple subject areas of data without the need for heroics on the part of business users for traversing business relationships in the data (see Figure 3). Perhaps, ‘a tale of two Seas’ provides a lesson or two for those trying to effectively plan, harvest and nourish the data and information ecosystem in the Enterprise Data Warehouse.

 

Data Modeling Blueprint

 

 

 

 

Sundara Raman