Tag Archives: data warehouse
Has big data entered the “trough of disillusionment?” That’s what I’ve heard recently. Like many hyped up technology trends the trough can be deep and long as project failures accumulate, or for ‘hot’ trends that evolve and mature quickly the trough can be shallow and short, leading to broader and rapid adoption. Is the big data hype failing to deliver on its promise of increased revenue and competitive advantage for companies that leverage big data to introduce new products and services and improve business operations? Why is it that some big data projects fail to deliver on their promise? Svetlana Sicular, Research Director, Gartner points out in her blog Big Data is Falling into the Trough of Disillusionment that, “These [advanced client] organizations have fascinating ideas, but they are disappointed with a difficulty of figuring out reliable solutions.” There are several reasons why big data projects may fail to deliver on their promise: (more…)
In a recent webinar, Mark Smith, CEO at Ventana Research and David Lyle, vice president, Product Strategy at Informatica discussed: “Building the Business Case and Establishing the Fundamentals for Big Data Projects.” Mark pointed out that the second biggest barrier that impedes improving big data initiatives is that the “business case is not strong enough.” The first and third barriers respectively, were “lack of resources” and “no budget” which are also related to having a strong business case. In this context, Dave provided a simple formula from which to build the business case:
Return on Big Data = Value of Big Data / Cost of Big Data (more…)
Most of the big data discussions have been on the technology or the numerously re-played business discoveries used as examples of big data’s power. Many companies are still in the experimental stages of big data, asking for guidance regarding what their benefits would be, how they can re-align themselves to take advantage, and what new processes might be helpful to make them successful with these powerful new capabilities. (more…)
We have been looking at how data management issues can be classified, and in my last post I provided five categories, but broken them down into two groups: Systemic and System. The systemic issues are ones in which process or management gaps allow data flaws to be introduced. A good example occurs when consumers of reports from the data warehouse insist that the data sets are incomplete, and the root cause is that the processes in which the data is initially collected or created do not comply with the downstream requirement for capturing the missing values. (more…)
Data warehouses are applications– so why not manage them like one? In fact, data grows at a much faster rate in data warehouses, since they integrate date from multiple applications and cater to many different groups of users who need different types of analysis. Data warehouses also keep historical data for a long time, so data grows exponentially in these systems. The infrastructure costs in data warehouses also escalate quickly since analytical processing on large amounts of data requires big beefy boxes. Not to mention the software license and maintenance costs of such a large amount of data. Imagine how many backup media is required to backup tens to hundreds of terabytes of data warehouses on a regular basis. But do you really need to keep all that historical data in production?
One of the challenges of managing data growth in data warehouses is that it’s hard to determine which data is actually used, which data is no longer being used, or even if the data was ever used at all. Unlike transactional systems where the application logic determines when records are no longer being transacted upon, the usage of analytical data in data warehouses has no definite business rules. Age or seasonality may determine data usage in data warehouses, but business users are usually loath to let go of the availability of all that data at their fingertips. The only clear cut way to prove that some data is no longer being used in data warehouses is to monitor its usage.
With just a few days remaining in what has been an eventful year, I thought I’d take some time to reflect on the world of data quality as I’ve observed it over the past twelve months. While the idea of data quality improvement in general didn’t change much, the way that companies are viewing and approaching it most certainly have. Here are three areas that seemed to come up quite frequently:
Data governance awareness grew
In thinking about all the customer interactions that I was involved in throughout the year, it’s hard to come up with one where the topic of data governance didn’t surface. Whereas before, the topic of data governance only seemed to come up for companies with more mature data management organizations, now it seems everyone is looking to build a governance framework in conjunction with their data quality efforts. Furthermore, while previously the conversation was largely driven by IT, now it’s both IT and business stakeholders that are looking for answers to how data governance can help them drive better business outcomes. In increasingly competitive market conditions, we can only expect this trend to continue. Whether it’s focused on increasing revenue, driving out cost or managing risk and compliance, data quality with data governance is where companies of all sizes are turning to create and sustain a differentiated edge. Trends like big data will only make this need more acute. (more…)
Several years ago I had the fortunate opportunity to participate in a post-mortem study of a $100 million dollar project failure. No one likes to be associated with a project failure, but in this case it was fortunate since the size of the write-off was large enough that it forced the team to take a very hard look at root causes and not just do a cursory analysis. As a result we finally got to the heart of a challenge that has been plaguing data architects and designers for 20 years – how to effectively use canonical data models. (more…)