Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a time when U.S. citizens eat ridiculous amount of turkey, bread, potatoes and, for reasons I don’t entirely understand, jellied cranberries from a can.
Days of thanksgiving aren’t unique to the U.S., of course, but since this is where I live, I thought it’d be fun to share a list of developments worthy of thanksgiving, particularly for those of you in data management or integration.
Thanksgiving #1: The rise of the data-driven organization. Nine out of 10 business leaders believe data is now the fourth factor of production, putting it right up there with land, labor and capital, according to a Capgemini report on Big Data. That means more executives are focused on data and data-related initiatives, including data quality. For years, IT has fought the good fight on data quality and data governance, pretty much alone. But as business leaders shift to making decisions based on data, rather than shooting from the hip, the data quality and data governance business case will practically make itself. In fact, Capgemini also found that 71 percent of executives say they struggle with data inaccuracies on a daily basis, making this time to broach data management as a strategic business issue.
Thanksgiving #2: The CFO cares about data integration. It’s one thing to say more executives are on board with data quality. It’s quite another to say the CFO — who controls the purse strings in many organizations — is taking an interest in data integration and data quality. And yet, that’s exactly what’s happening. Regulatory concerns and audits have convinced CFOs and CROs (chief risk officers) about the importance of data integration and data quality, according to Accenture. That means CFOs are more likely to support improvements to data processes and systems and participate on data quality committees.
Thanksgiving #3: New technologies for exploring Big Data. Everyone is big into Big Data, it seems, and this year there have been a slew of new tools, offerings and solutions aimed at “democratizing” Big Data. I particularly like the idea of using a graph database to explore the relationships hidden in large datasets.
Thanksgiving #4: Open data. Open data is simply a data set that’s freely available for anyone to use, without restriction, copyrights or patents. Right now, it’s still more of a concept than a working reality, but ultimately Gartner says it will be “far more consequential for increasing revenue and business value” than Big Data. Just think — all that data, waiting for someone to put it to good use. That’s almost as good as free money — maybe even better.
Thanksgiving #5: Coming soon: weekends off. Weekend data migrations are an IT nightmare that may soon be coming to an end, if Data Migration Pro founder Dylan Jones is correct. Jones recently wrote that data size, the speed limits of ETL and the complexities of APIs are making it impossible in some cases to migrate data in a weekend. He believes the time needed to do a mass migration will only grow, which means other options, including the iterative data migration. It also means you won’t have to hang around work Saturday night, watching the batch run and checking for mistakes on Sunday — at least, in theory.
Thanksgiving #6: The cloud and its integration challenges. To be fair, this probably isn’t something everyone will appreciate. However, if you’re a systems integrator, you should be thrilled. Originally, the theory was that the cloud would make IT much more easier, like a utility, and therefore there’d be less demand for consultants and system integrators. But this year has shown the opposite to be true. While executives are becoming more comfortable with the idea of public and hybrid clouds, they’re still very antsy about integration concerns — and systems integrators are profiting because of it.