|By Ash Parikh||
|March 23, 2012 07:45 AM EDT||
In a recent article, CIO.com said that analytics and BI will be the top technology priorities for CIOs in 2012, based on a Gartner Inc. survey of IT executives. However, if you look back in time, reports show that BI was a top priority even then. Although we have fast-forwarded many years, the priorities haven't really changed. BI is still top of mind.
Granted, the amount of data that needs to be processed is growing by the day, and the need for businesses to have timely insight into things that matter is becoming more immediate. But wasn't this the case earlier as well? Businesses have always had this mindset - hence the reason for growth and continuous innovation.
What's new? Nothing, on the face of it. Except that with all things being equal, the fundamental problem, or shall I say problems, seem to have taken a backseat, yet again. We seem to keep talking about the symptoms instead of treating the issue at hand. In a recent report by Gleanster, LLC, the biggest challenges for enabling BI agility, are:
- Breaking down data / departmental silos
- Integrating with applications (e.g., CRM), operations and other platforms
- Achieving acceptable data quality
The report also points out that the most commonly used metrics by businesses are time-to-decision or time-to-response to information requests; information access (comprehensiveness, accuracy, and consistency); and volume and quality or actionable insights. These, in essence, are the fundamental requirements that need to be fulfilled to the hilt in order to enable BI agility.
For those in the know, this is not something BI tools can address on their own. A recent blog by Forrester Research, Inc., states that traditional BI approaches often fall short because BI hasn't fully empowered information workers, who still largely depend on IT, and because BI platforms, tools, and applications aren't agile enough. Now that we have this background in place, I can start my analysis.
Based on what we are seeing in some ongoing polls, without the underpinnings of a self-service driven agile data integration strategy in place, BI agility will continue to remain a pipedream. Yes, of late, data virtualization has emerged as an agile data integration approach that can enable BI agility. But as all solutions are not created equal, let's try to address the challenges we discussed with the proposed solution.
As I always say, the devil's in the details. Data virtualization built on data federation does one thing and only one thing very well - it accesses and merges data from several different data sources, in real-time, without physical data movement. It can turn many data silos into one and integrate with applications. But how about data quality? Is federated data truly ready for consumption? All I hear is silence.
A BI tool won't do anything to improve data quality as it simply assumes the availability of the most current and accurate data. What happens if there are inaccuracies and inconsistencies after federating data across various systems in real time? A more fundamental question - what if you cannot effectively analyze and profile the federated data in the first place? Well, you need further processing.
Did you read the fine print? I think it just said, deal with it. Or worse yet, I have also heard the excuse - BI tools do not expect consistent and accurate data. Very convenient wouldn't you say? Bottom line, you not only lose the time advantage that you gained in not moving the data physically, but you now have to deal with quality and consistency on a reactive basis. So much for an agile data integration approach.
We discussed quality and consistency. Now, how about the role of business users? Shouldn't the analyst define business entities, analyze and identify issues with the data, create rules to correct inaccuracies and inconsistencies, and then play a key part in making sure the federated data is as requested? Ask any BI professional, business users know the data the best. Data federation does little to get them involved.
Next, let's talk about the role of IT. Is it just about prioritizing a backlog of growing requests, building out the solution, testing and then deploying it? Shouldn't IT interact with the analyst instantly and throughout the process? This is critical to IT building exactly what the business wanted. Without self-service, agility can't be ensured. However, data federation has been typically a coding-heavy IT tool.
Although data federation has been around for a long time, it hasn't gone too far. Data virtualization built on data federation seems to be a case of doing the same thing again, and expecting a different answer. Federating data across many diverse data sources, in real time, without physical data movement, is what I call, par for the course. To enable BI agility, you need to go beyond looking under the hood.
Since data virtualization built on data federation cannot profile both data sources and logic, apply complex data quality rules and advanced data transformations on federated data as it is in flight, involve the business user early and often, and reuse the virtual views not just for BI tools, portals and composite applications, but also for batch - it looks like we have a choice to make?
The choices are - manual coding, further processing using other tools, and custom solutions. Really! Is this truly a choice you have the luxury or the extra budget to make? Are you going to sign-up for a solution that promises agility and then leaves a major portion of the task to you or to another tool? What's even more dangerous is that lack of critical functionality is simply passed off as good-to-have.
The Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Integration Tools, October 27, 2011, says it well - it's "the ability to switch seamlessly and transparently between delivery modes (bulk/batch vs. granular real-time vs. federation) with minimal rework." Data virtualization thus needs to be built-on data integration to truly enable BI agility. Having said that, I believe the days of a one-trick pony are numbered.
• • •
Don't forget to join me at Informatica World 2012, May 15-18 in Las Vegas, to learn the tips, tricks and best practices for using the Informatica Platform to maximize your return on big data, and get the scoop on the R&D innovations in our next release, Informatica 9.5. For more information and to register, visit www.informaticaworld.com.
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
May. 27, 2016 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,344
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, will provide an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life ...
May. 27, 2016 07:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,900
As cloud and storage projections continue to rise, the number of organizations moving to the cloud is escalating and it is clear cloud storage is here to stay. However, is it secure? Data is the lifeblood for government entities, countries, cloud service providers and enterprises alike and losing or exposing that data can have disastrous results. There are new concepts for data storage on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive data around the world. ...
May. 27, 2016 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,262
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC Software has been named "Siver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. BMC is a global leader in innovative software solutions that help businesses transform into digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive advantage. BMC Digital Enterprise Management is a set of innovative IT solutions designed to make digital business fast, seamless, and optimized from mainframe to mo...
May. 27, 2016 06:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,103
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobile software company with over 200 develope...
May. 27, 2016 06:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,521
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, will discuss the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to fo...
May. 27, 2016 05:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,481
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
May. 27, 2016 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,905
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
May. 27, 2016 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 706
SYS-CON Events announced today TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget is the Web’s leading destination for serious technology buyers researching and making enterprise technology decisions. Its extensive global networ...
May. 27, 2016 04:45 AM EDT Reads: 3,114
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with p...
May. 27, 2016 04:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,157
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 18th International CloudExpo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
May. 27, 2016 04:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,272
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
May. 27, 2016 01:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,958
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
May. 27, 2016 12:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,724
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...
May. 27, 2016 12:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,788
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
May. 27, 2016 12:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,369
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
May. 27, 2016 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,060
Designing IoT applications is complex, but deploying them in a scalable fashion is even more complex. A scalable, API first IaaS cloud is a good start, but in order to understand the various components specific to deploying IoT applications, one needs to understand the architecture of these applications and figure out how to scale these components independently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nara Rajagopalan is CEO of Accelerite, will discuss the fundamental architecture of IoT applications, ...
May. 27, 2016 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,175
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty ...
May. 26, 2016 11:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,586
18th Cloud Expo, taking place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some...
May. 26, 2016 10:45 PM EDT Reads: 3,125
SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from Web startups to global enterprises. SoftLayer's modular architecture, full-featured API, and sophisticated automation provide unparalleled performance and control. Its flexible unified platform seamlessly spans physical and virtual devices linked via a world...
May. 26, 2016 10:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,104