In my step through contemporary architectures (platforms at least) I have omitted the current fad for ‘analytical platforms’ and the arguments for and against column based DBMS’s.
I will come back to these shortly but for now the ‘discussion’ between relational and columnar platforms has become ridiculous and is not even particularly relevant and the analytical platform is shaping up to be an independent data mart with all the pros and cons I have already exposed. More later.
I’m sure all of us have noticed the way marketing invades our lives more than ever before. Some years ago, the term ‘junk mail’ was invented, but now junk mail has progressed from invention to acceptance and now pervades our very lives. For myself, it is common to be away from home for weeks at a time, and it is never so clear just how much junk mail finds its way into our homes as when, on returning from a few days’ business trip, I see a pile of mail and find that less than one in eight items need attention. The rest, the junk, is luckily not only very easy to identify (‘this is not a circular’, your name and address spelled incorrectly), but just as easily tossed into the bin.
There are, by and large, two reasons why we get so much junk mail today (and by the way, it is set to increase over the next few years). Firstly, we are now in a world of incredible commercial competition. In every major European country, we have too many suppliers of too many products for a population which is by and large fairly static. In such an environment it is very important to use every mechanism (channel) available to make offers of products or services to a wide market, and until the total acceptance of the web (or rather the acceptance of performing financial transactions over the web), direct mail is probably the cheapest method for most types of targeted marketing/selling.