Connecting the Dots


Real value in data emerges when you start to connect the dots.

This could not be more evident in my interactions these past couple of days at the TDWI Conference in Las Vegas. Yesterday afternoon, Actian’s Fred Gallagher spoke on a panel about the future of Business Intelligence and Big Data Management with David Cole of Claraview and Will Cairns of HP Vertica. Gallagher emphasized heavily that the future lies in three things: leadership,  collaboration and communication. It’s those three things that drive the core of our business.

At Actian, we lead the industry with a cooperative analytics approach that amplifies the value of data through the precise collaboration of several diverse platforms. Just as a diverse ecosystem promotes growth and health in nature, so it is with our big data analytics platform.  As a data ecosystem it speeds up the analytic time but most importantly it extracts significantly more value out of it.

I had a chance to sit down with Hyoun Park of Data Hive Consulting and he ruminated on some of his highlights from the conference, he also referred to the keynote speech from Jill Dyche on the changing IT landscape. “The technology is changing so much and we take the traditional data warehouse perspective for granted because it’s been dominant for thirty years and it still handles so much of what’s been happening in the business world, but that’s all going away. It’s going away quickly and it’s being replaced by the cell phone, the sensors, the external data from who knows where.”

Technology is decentralized and late-binding, and the requests that Park gets from his clients reflect this. “Everybody creates their own little thing, whatever they want. Sometimes it comes together and sometimes it doesn’t, but it all needs to be processed and used and analyzed no matter what the case is,” says Park.

Park insightfully pointed out that at Actian we aren’t limited with point solutions to deal with the “organized chaos” of data flow. “You’re not trying to shove it into just one (place or) tool, you have many tools unlike many of your competitors.” Our diverse ecosystem graces us to help businesses gain real insight in this changing BI landscape.

I also got a chance to catch up with Mary Jo Nott of The Bloor Group who also expressed similar value in the conversation about the shift toward the new IT. “What always amazes me about this conference is where the people are mentally when you sit down next to them. Forward thinkers are talking about the Internet of Things and they’re not even thinking about that. Bridging the gap between business and IT – we are barely having that conversation. The whole thing has shifted and connecting with the right people is a whole different ball game.”

Truth is, we are moving into a time where more now than ever organizations need to tap into that unmined data – the decentralized, unconstrained new data – to enrich their existing corporate data. Why?

It’s when you connect those dots that the data becomes disruptive and transformational.

About James Hare

Jim Hare is Senior Director of Product Marketing for the Actian Analytics Platform helping organizations transform big data into business value. Prior to Actian, he was Director of Marketing at IBM responsible for go-to-market strategy and messaging for the big data platform. Prior to joining IBM in 2008, Jim was vice-president of product marketing and business development at Celequest, a California-based operational business intelligence vendor, which was acquired by Cognos in 2007. He has over 16 years of experience in enterprise software and deep experience in business intelligence, business process management, business activity monitoring, big data, and automated software testing & monitoring. Jim holds a MS in Systems Management from the University of Southern California, and an undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. When he is not heads down focused on finding new ways to use big data, you will find Jim with his amazing wife and daughter and sometimes on the ski slope (when there is snow) or improvising at his piano.

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