Big Data: Storming the castle!

find this post as a guest Blog on our partner’s website – NeutrinoBI!


Storming the Castle!

“Data is the new oil” is a common refrain among IT and business executives today… I can see why oil is commonly used as a metaphor… it needs to be stored, refined, processed, etc. In its raw form, it’s not overtly useful; once refined—into gas, or heating oil, or cleaning solvents, or Vaseline or whatever, it becomes much more useful.

The reference suggested by my colleague, Kognitio Chief Innovation Officer Paul Groom is that the data warehouse has become a castle – impenetrable, with a big moat around it, access tightly controlled.  People need to queue up for hours to get into them as guests, while a select few roam freely in there. The Era of Big Data, therefore, equates to the masses “storming the castle,” with data freedom for all.

Castles were places where all the valuable goods could be stored after they were collected from the farms, fields and villagers, a single place where outside parties would come to transact business with the kingdom.

This analogy ties to the modern enterprise data warehouse… where the legendary “single version of the truth” is rumored to exist.  The data is brought there from all around the organization, where it can be carefully categorized, stored and managed for access by BI Tools.  Access is also tightly controlled (via the drawbridge), which facilitates security but limits entrée.  More recently, due to the license, infrastructure, and administration costs of these massive systems, the total cost of ownership is charged back to the business units who are permitted access; this is sometimes referred to as the “data warehouse tax.”

Like Robin Hood, Apache Hadoop has come out of the Sherwood Forrest (er, Silicon Valley) to rescue the situation, democratizing and extending value of data to the masses. At the same time, we recognize that not all the important data sits within the walls of the castle – in fact, much of it comes from external parties, who may retain ownership of it, or provide it freely.

But be careful – or Hadoop will become a kingdom of its own.  After a thousand years of successive Kingdoms, democracy finally became en vogue.  In Big Data, we think of this as an “information anywhere” approach, data can sit wherever it can be managed most efficiently, then processed and analyzed quickly and easily – to be served up to the business in any way it’s needed.

NeutrinoBI is the first tool to truly serve up the user interface for the masses – serfs to lords, as it were, with no formal BI training can quickly and easily glean what they seek by asking questions they might naturally think of themselves.   The logical extension of that is to have an analytical platform underlie that intuitive tool – resolving the search for information by providing everything to NeutrinoBI, so that its users don’t need to consider what systems need to be integrated with what data.

An analytical platform approach is that universal connection layer – infinite entry and exit points, with discrete, role- or view-based access to relevant data to preserve security and in-memory speed and scalability to facilitate “train of thought” analysis conducted in nBI. Extending the metaphor, all of that valuable data can sit in the fields and farms it naturally lives in, but its contents, relevance, and access can be memorized by the analytical platform and served up to the nBI interface in real time.  Such is the relationship between Kognitio and NeutrinoBI.  The intelligent search bar analytics is perfectly supported by an in-memory analytical processing layer, which enables a zero disruption approach to the existing systems.

It’s time for democratized data for all – with every business user empowered to use fast, accurate and simple business intelligence for effective decision support.  Storm the castle – and free the data in the dungeon that can help every line of business to be more effective in their daily efforts!