Big data, bigger problem!!


This whole thing about analytical databases and ‘big’ data makes my blood boil. This blog, and my associated book tells you clearly that I am a little disappointed with what the BI industry (vendors and customers) have achieved over the last 30 years and now it seems we are getting set to be more disappointed.

If you read other blogs and news items you’ll be well aware of a few so called ‘things’:

  • EDW’s are either a ‘done deal’ or we don’t really need them at all.
  • RDBMS’ are also old and due for replacement with the ‘new’ columnar’ databases.
  • Analytics is the future, old fashioned reporting is no longer interesting.
  • Even better, analytics of ‘Big’ Data is going to save us all and to do it we need one of a small handful of (columnar) databases that between them have maybe generated a billion dollars in revenue since they were created.

Now this sort of rubbish does not make me feel proud of my profession. It’s so wrong that I can hardly explain in a blog here – I’m going to leave it a few days whilst I cool down. I want your opinions:

BTW, does this new direction mean that Data Governance, Data Quality and Master Data Management are no longer important?

Meanwhile back to my normal theme:-

The Blind Leading the Blind

You can see immediately that getting answers to some of these questions I’ve raised in the previous two postings is not going to be an easy task because the capabilities to do so, in terms of technology, data and people, simply do not exist in most companies. On the other side, you might well ask yourselves how our businesses run at all without being able to answer the above types of question? The truth is of course, that if no-one can answer the above questions except by using experience based on history, then there is no problem because everyone can muddle along equally in the dark, the blind leading the blind. The problem arises however, when a handful of companies crack the information problem and suddenly there is a power swing away from the non-informed toward the informed. This is exactly what happened in the retail industry when Wall-Mart became the biggest retailer ever seen.


About bibongo

I'm a consultant in the field of Business Intelligence and have been since the mid 80's which gives you some idea of my age! I'm priviledged to have held senior positions with Teradata, Oracle, Hp and EMC. I have an English son and a Swedish daughter seperated by some 18 years which is another type of welcome challenge!
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