Parsing: Does WSJ Really Think Data Management Eliminates Jobs?

Data management
Does WSJ Really Think Data Management Eliminates Jobs?

I enjoyed reading this story this week in the WSJ talking about data and how it is being used by startups with an example of how the company Chubbies is using modern data management tools. Unlike the story my belief is that the new era of data management tools is net job creator and not a job eliminator as comes across in the title (Data is The New Middle Manager)

There were a number of interesting statements and suggestions based on data (and we think they meant data mangaement tools) that included:

  1. Startups today are flatter than other companies
  2. Access to data management tools is more pervasive today, especially in startups
  3. Employees at startups are move empowered to make decisions compared to main stream companies

First, from my own experiences working at startups and large Fortune 100 companies these three bullet points are not new when comparing startups and large companies.  However, taking the startup focus away the observations about the access and use of enterprise data management tools is still very important. The main aspects that the article highlights includes the following:

  1. Small companies have access to ever more powerful data management tools every bit as good (or better) than large companies
  2. The latest data management tools are easier to learn and easier to use so that just about any employee can get up to speed
  3. It is easier to provide access to the latest in data management tools do to newer technologies

These last items are where the article is very accurate with what many companies and people are seeing. It really is possible to get some very good data preparation tools, data quality tools, and full blown data management capabilities for a fraction of what they would have cost even 5 or 10 years ago.  In addition these tools are more easy to learn and more easy to be made available. This is good in a world where as much as many people hate to admit it Excel is still king because it is the good enough tool that many people can learn.

My point of view would be the data management story is less about startups vs large companies and far more about there being far greater access to powerful data management tools. Some that I would point out that provide different types of data management tools from full platforms to specific industries and use cases.

  • DataBricks : data visualization and big data processing
  • Informatica Rev : do it yourself data preparation
  • Salesforce Wave : for anyone using Salesforce.com an integrated analytics platform
  • Radian6 : social media monitoring platform for marketing professionals
  • Yodlee : financial management analytics
  • BigML : data decision support platform with predictive analytics

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