Rob Karel

Rob Karel
Rob Karel is the Vice President Product Strategy at Informatica. Karel is focused on developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy and solution for data governance spanning the entire Informatica product family. Formerly with Forrester Research, Rob has a stellar reputation as an industry expert in the area of data management and was ranked in the top 2% of all analysts at the firm. Karel looks across Informatica’s products to advance the company’s breadth in data management. He has more than 20 years of data management experience, working in both business and IT roles to develop solutions that provide better quality of, confidence in, and usability of critical enterprise data. Most recently, Karel spent six years with Forrester Research as a Principal Analyst, and was a leading expert in how companies deliver trusted information across the enterprise to enable mission critical business processes, customer interactions and decisions. Karel’s research focus included master data management, data quality, metadata management, data integration, data architecture, and data governance best practices. Prior to joining Forrester, Karel managed Intuit's enterprise data quality initiatives and supported the implementation of Intuit's customer master reference system. Prior to Intuit, Karel managed the design and development of customer master and attribute management solutions for Cisco Systems. Earlier, Karel was Research Manager for the global mergers and acquisitions product group at Thomson Financial Securities Data (now Thomson Financial Investment Banking). Rob received a Bachelor of Science from Ithaca College with a Major in Finance and a Minor in Economics. Follow Rob Karel on Twitter @rbkarel

The Internet of Things, So Mom Can Understand

Dear Mom,

IoT

The Internet of Things, So Mom Can Understand

It’s great to hear that you’re feeling pretty hip at your ability to explain data, metadata and Big Data to your friends. I did get your panicked voicemail asking about the Internet of Things (IoT).   Yes, you’re right that the Internet itself is a thing, so it’s confusing to know if the Internet is one of the things that the IoT includes.   So let’s make it a bit simper so you can feel more comfortable about the topic at your bridge game next week. (Still shocked you’re talking about data with your friends– Dad complains you only talk with him about “Dancing with the Stars”).

First let’s describe the Internet itself.   You use it everyday when you do a Google search: it’s a publicly accessible network of computer systems from around the world.     Someday the Internet will hopefully allow for sharing of all human knowledge with one another.

But what about knowledge that’s not “human”?   It’s not only people that create information.   The “things” in IoT are the devices and machines that people, companies and governments rely upon every day.  Believe it or not, there are billions of devices today that are also “connected” – meaning they have the ability to send information to other computers.  In fact, the technology research firm Gartner says there will be 4.9 billion connected devices, or “things” in 2015.  And by 2020, that number will reach 25 billion!

Some of these connected devices are more obvious than others – and some have been around a very long time.  For example, you use ATMs all the time at the bank, when you’re withdrawing and depositing money.   Clearly those machines can only access your account information if they’re connected to the banks computer systems that hold your account information.

Your iPhone, your “smart” thermostat, and your washing machine with the call home feature are all connected “Things” too.  Mom, imagine waking up in the morning and having your coffee brewed already. The coffee machine brewed because it knew from your alarm clock what time you were waking up.

IoT will also help make sure your oven is off; your lost keys can be easily found and your fridge can check how many eggs are left while you’re standing in the grocery store. The possibilities are limitless.

And it doesn’t stop there.   Medical devices are communicating with doctors, jet engines are communicating with their manufacturers, and parking meters are communicating with city services.

And guess what?  There are people watching the computers that collect all of that information, and they’re working hard to figure out what value they can deliver by using it effectively.   It’s actually this machine data that’s going to make Big Data REALLY Big.

So does that mean your espresso maker, your cell phone and your car will be conspiring to take over the house?  Probably not something we need to worry about this year (Maybe you want to keep an eye on the refrigerator just in case).   But in the short term, it will mean people like me who have dedicated our careers to data management will have our work cut out for ourselves trying to figure out how to make sense of all of this new machine interaction data from devices. Then how to marry it with the people interaction data from social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. And then how to marry all of that with all of the transactional data that companies capture during the normal course of business.    As I’ve said before, data’s a good business to be in!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Love, Rob

Share
Posted in Big Data | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Data-Powered Insights Fueled by the “Internet of Master Data”

Master data management (MDM) has come a long way in the past decade or so.  When I was supporting my company’s customer master implementation back in 2001, my management was thrilled to simply have a customer master that brought a bit of order to the chaos sharing customer data between our CRM and ERP applications and downstream into our marketing data warehouse.

karel

Fast forward to 2014 and mastering customer data alone is often table stakes for leadership trying to transform their business from a product- or account-centric to a customer-centric organizations.

Here at Informatica, we’ve seen over 75% of our MDM customers in the past year purchase for multidomain use cases – meaning the scope of their initiative often spans mastering data such as Customers, Suppliers and Products as part of a coordinated effort.  These organizations have built compelling business cases to demonstrate that mastering multiple domains – and the relationships among those domains – is necessary.  Only a true 360 degree view of relationships among any data can provide the necessary insights to deliver on the desired operational efficiencies, optimized customer experiences, and growth objectives for their companies.

The progress we’ve all made in multidomain MDM is impressive, but it’s just scratching the surface of what’s possible.  What happens when MDM meets Cloud, Social, the Internet of Things and other master data enrichment sources such as D&B and Acxiom?  Dennis Moore, Informatica’s GM and SVP for MDM, envisions that a new “Internet of Master Data” will be formed that can include a massive new set of sensor and social data which it leverages to infer and recommend a new class of relationship insights.   For example, in addition to sentiment and relationships from social networks, location data from mobile devices and sensors can now inform customer – and product – behaviors that span beyond direct transactions and interactions within your traditional business applications.

Those of you who have invested in building a foundation of clean, consistent and connected data have a huge advantage as the value of MDM grows exponentially with the exponential growth of data. You are well-positioned to take advantage of the deeper insights and potential innovations now possible by adding Cloud, Social, and Machine data to optimizing analytics and operations.

This week at Informatica World 2014 in Las Vegas, we kicked off with our fantastic MDM Day pre-conference event with over 500 attendees.  During the event, we shared some early insights into our MDM 10 release planned for later this year which integrates the Informatica Vibe engine and incorporates other elements of the just unveiled Informatica Intelligent Data Platform vision to make it easier for customers to gain a 360 degree view of their most critical business entities, including customers, suppliers, products and assets.

We continue to be inspired by our awesome MDM customers and partners, and we’re excited to see what they can do to harness the power of the Internet of Master Data!

Share
Posted in Informatica World 2014, Master Data Management, Vibe | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Baseline Data Governance With Peer Benchmarking

I’m excited to share that, since its launch in January 2013, the GovernYourData.com community has been very well received. With over 4,700 unique visitors and nearing 600 registered members, many data management practitioners recognize it as a valuable go-to resource to support their data governance efforts.  While maintaining our core objective of vendor- and product-neutrality, the site offers over 100 best practice blog posts from over 17 different contributors, shares the details on a dozen upcoming industry events, and has links to a wide variety of white papers, analyst research, recommended books, and other educational resources.  (more…)

Share
Posted in Data Governance | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Big Data, So Mom Can Understand

Dear Mom,

I’m glad to hear you feel comfortable explaining data to your friends, and I completely understand why you’ll avoid discussing metadata with them.  You’re in great company – most business leaders also avoid discussing metadata at all costs! You mentioned during our last call that you keep reading articles in the New York Times about this thing called “Big Data” so as promised I’ll try to explain it as best I can.   (more…)

Share
Posted in Big Data, Data Governance | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Chief Data Officers, Data Governance and The Internet of Things

We’ve posted three compelling new articles to the Potential at Work for Information Leaders site, including:

  1. “Will the real Chief Data Officer please stand up?” Some question the need for a new C-level position, arguing that a company’s chief information officer should be the one to oversee an organization’s data.  Others argue the CIO is stretched too thin already and a new type of leader must emerge.  Where do you stand?
  2. “Introducing a ‘define once, govern everywhere’ data management style” The sanity afforded by defining data standards only once and applying them anywhere will create time to investigate innovative uses for that data.  Information leaders will be much more successful if they spend less time managing projects to recode the same rules across every new application, and instead work with business partners to identify new information opportunities.
  3. “Rise of the machines: the Internet of Things” Are devices that track our every move poised to unlock new potential in humankind or are they just downright invasive?  While privacy remains a critical consideration, this article illustrates the global potential if we can effectively leverage big data to harness the emerging Internet of Things.  

For these articles and many more, check out the Potential at Work for Information Leaders community today. Available in nine languages, this site will continue to feature fresh, new ideas to promote the value of information management from a variety of top technology leaders.

Share
Posted in Big Data, Data Governance | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

What Information Leaders should know about delivering secure, fresh, and accurate data

If you haven’t already, check out the Potential at Work for Information Leaders site. We’ve just posted three great new articles designed to help you be more successful:

  1. “Driving value without locking down your data” Securing your data doesn’t mean inhibiting its use – far from it.  Did you know that effective data masking practices allow information leaders to optimize the value data delivers to the organization while ensuring its security? Some forward-thinking information leaders are doing this and getting great results.
  2. “How fresh is your data?” Simply delivering data is not good enough anymore. You must get it to the right people at the right time while it is still fresh enough to be useful. Find out how to do it right.
  3. “Turn an application data migration initiative into a data governance pilot” A data migration effort can accomplish so much more than simply transferring data. Think about using it as an opportunity to improve the quality of existing data and apply new, higher standards to the information powering your organization.

Don’t miss out on topics that are key to your success. Please join the Potential at Work for Information Leaders community today. Available in nine languages, this site will continue to feature fresh, new ideas to promote the value of information management from a variety of top technology leaders.Sign up now!

Share
Posted in Data Governance | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Helping Information Leaders Put Their Potential To Work

During Informatica World in early June, we were excited to announce our new Potential at Work Community.  You can read Jakki Geiger’s blog introducing the Community to learn more about the goals for this great resource.  (more…)

Share
Posted in Big Data, Business Impact / Benefits, Business/IT Collaboration, Data Governance, Data Privacy, Data Quality, Enterprise Data Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two Sci-Fi Big Data Predictions From Over 50 Years Ago

Science fiction represents some of the most impactful stories I’ve read throughout my life.  By impactful, I mean the ideas have stuck with me 30 years since I last read them.  I recently recalled two of these stories and realized they represent two very different paths for Big Data.  One path, quite literally, was towards enlightenment.  Let’s just say the other path went in a different direction.  The amazing thing is that both of these stories were written between 50-60 years ago. (more…)

Share
Posted in Big Data, Data Governance | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Data, So Mom Can Understand

Dear Mom,

I’ve been in the data management industry for over 20 years, and you’ve always been very supportive of my career – even though you admit you have no clue what it is I do for a living.  So here’s my best shot at explaining what I do so you can more accurately brag about me to your friends! J

(more…)

Share
Posted in Data Governance, Enterprise Data Management | Tagged , , , , , | 28 Comments