Scales, Measurement and Encoding Scheme

Scales, Measurement and Encoding Scheme

Joe Celko

Most DBAs are fair on normalization and good on the mechanics of their SQL product. But they do not know anything about how to actually design the data going into that database and its encoding! Would you really like to use Roman Numerals today? On a scale from 1 to 10, what color is your favorite letter of the alphabet? Did you know that measurement theory was invented in 1947?

First we will talk about measurement theory, then classify types of scales. But how do we encode such things for a database? How do we add verification (check digits and regular expressions) and validation?

Finally we will discuss examples of actual encoding for the same problem. For example, compare the Canadian, US, and UK postal codes. There is a set of ISO Standards that every DBA should know.

About the Speaker

Joe Celko served 10 years on ANSI/ISO SQL Standards Committee and contributed to the SQL-89 and SQL-92 Standards. He is author of eight books on SQL for Morgan-Kaufmann: SQL for Smarties (1995, 1999, 2005, 2010), SQL Puzzles & Answers (1997, 2006), Data & Databases (1999) and Trees & Hierarchies in SQL (2004), SQL Programming Style (2005) and Analytics & OLAP in SQL (2005) and Thinking in Sets (2008). He has written over 1200 columns in the computer trade and academic press, mostly dealing with data and databases.