The future of analytic technology is becoming a little clearer

I posted today elsewhere about The Future of Data Marts.  Key points include:

  • Data marts aren’t just for performance (or price/performance). They also exist to give individual analysts or small teams control of their analytic destiny.
  • Thus, it would be really cool if business users could have their own analytic “sandboxes” — virtual or physical analytic databases that they can manipulate without breaking anything else.
  • In any case, business users want to analyze data when they want to analyze it. It is often unwise to ask business users to postpone analysis until after an enterprise data model can be extended to fully incorporate the new data they want to look at.
  • Whether or not you agree with that, it’s an empirical fact that enterprises have many legacy data marts (or even, especially due to M&A, multiple legacy data warehouses). Similarly, it’s an empirical fact that many business users have the clout to order up new data marts as well.
  • Consolidating data marts onto one common technological platform has important benefits.

This is now beginning to happen. (eBay is a prime, multi-petabyte example)

A few days ago -- somewhat connected to the Google Wave announcement -- I posted on Reinventing Business Intelligence.  Key themes there were flexibility and data exploration -- which of course are easier when an analyst or department can control their own private data mart.

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