Big Themes under the Big Tent
By David Stodder, Senior Research Director for Business Intelligence, TDWI
Hard to believe, but the New Year is over a month old now and moving by fast. TDWI just finished its first Conference of the year in Las Vegas, which included the co-located Executive Summit chaired by me and my TDWI colleague, Research Director Fern Halper. The Summit was fantastic; many thanks to our great speakers, sponsors, and attendees. Other industry events focused on TDWI’s core topics are coming up, including the TDWI Solution Summit in Savannah, Strata and Hadoop World, and Gartner Business Intelligence & Analytics Summit. So, it’s time to check the condition of my shoes, luggage, and lumbar vertebrae (have to stop carrying that heavy computer bag) because they are all about to get a workout.
These events and others later in the year will no doubt highlight some of the major themes that TDWI Research is seeing as top concerns among leadership at user organizations. Here are three themes that we expect to be top of mind at conferences the rest of this year:
Theme #1: “Governed” self-service analytics and data discovery. At the Summit, several attendees and speakers observed that the pendulum in organizations could be swinging toward stronger data governance. As organizations supply users with self-service visual analytics and data discovery tools and ease constraints on data access and data blending, they are becoming increasingly concerned about data quality, management, and security. TDWI Research advises that the best approach to expanding self-service analytics and data discovery is a balanced one that includes data governance. Our research finds that this is largely IT’s responsibility, but governance is better tailored to users’ needs if the business side is closely involved, such as through establishment of a committee that includes stakeholders from business and IT. Governance and other steps organizations can take to improve their "analytics culture" will be a key topic at TDWI and other events.
Theme #2: Self-service data preparation. One of the hot trends in the industry is the technology evolution in data preparation toward self-service data blending, data wrangling, and data munging. I heard a great deal about this at Strata in 2015 and expect to again this year. Not only business users but data scientists working with Hadoop data lakes need technologies that can support easier, faster, and more standardized processes for data access, cataloging, integration, and transformation. I will be researching and writing a TDWI Best Practices Report on this topic in the first half of this year; look for the research survey to be launched at the end of February. I expect that this will be a major topic at the aforementioned events as organizations try to improve the productivity and satisfaction of business users and data scientists.
Theme #3: The maturing Hadoop ecosystem. Within the past few years, the developers across the Hadoop landscape have made progress in taking what has been a disparate collection of open source projects and technologies and moving the ecosystem toward a more coherent ecosystem. To be sure, most organizations still need to work with vendors’ platforms to achieve the level of integration and management they need. What will be interesting to see at TDWI's Savannah Solution Summit and at Strata and Hadoop World is how the pendulum is swinging in the Hadoop environment between the tradition of freewheeling development focused on innovation and the use of more tightly integrated systems based on frameworks, governance, and management processes.
As we move forward in 2016, I hope to see members of the TDWI and greater business intelligence and analytics community at these events. I also look forward to hearing your thoughts about how these major themes will play out during the course of this year.
Posted on February 10, 2016