“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…”[i]
The tech and business press is inundated by Big Data hype, but that hype has masked terrific waves of innovation that have been taking place in business intelligence, analytics and data integration. The hype has gotten so pervasive that just to get attention every vendor or pundit is slapping the Big Data label on all things BI, analytics and data integration. Maybe the stuff does work with Big Data, but there is much more going on than just dealing with unstructured data for enterprises and people.
For example, business people are using innovative technologies to better discover, analyze and gain insights to improve their businesses. These include data discovery, data visualization, in-memory databases, in-database analytics, predictive analytics, prescriptive analytics and even advanced spreadsheet capabilities.
IT is doing its part by starting to blend integration technologies in an overall integration portfolio rather than just deploying them as integration silos. These technologies include extract, transform and load (ETL), extract, load and transform (ELT), service oriented architecture (SOA), web and data services, enterprise service bus (ESB), enterprise messaging services (EMS), master data management (MDM), customer data integration (CDI), data quality, integration platform as a service (iPaaS) and data virtualization.
All sorts of technology is being deployed on the cloud: applications, databases, business intelligence, data warehouses and integration technologies. And, of course, these technologies will eventually need to be blended with each other and on-premise technology.
More good news: in addition to using technology more wisely, people are getting smarter about using many best practices such as agile methodologies and data governance. These best practices are working better not just because people understand them better, but also because they are being blended with existing techniques that still work today.
I have and will continue to discuss Big Data, but it is important to also discuss these innovative technologies with a self-imposed “Big Data Free Zone.” I enjoy helping my customers become more aware of, understand and leverage these technologies to generate a business ROI, but if they only hear about Big Data they will miss out on a lot of business value.
Look for future posts where I will discuss these technologies and best practices.
[i] Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities