Software // Information Management
Commentary
9/2/2004
01:34 PM
Ted Kemp
Ted Kemp
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

The Great Data Merge

Vendors are busy on data integration because they've got a lot of work to do, and they know it.

In years past, when business intelligence was largely a project-by-project affair, it didn't matter if an enterprise's data was spread all over the place. We were, after all, using BI to improve one aspect of the business at a time. Such as it was, it usually worked.

But things have changed. With BI and CRM on the road to becoming enterprise-wide priorities, data has to be more consistent and of higher quality. Ambiguousness, redundancy and inaccuracy are being driven out of the system. "Integration" has become the catchword of the day.

A slew of developments on the vendor side reflects just how critical data integration has become. IBM acquired Venetica to boost its Data Management Group; data integrator Hummingbird partnered with Attunity to improve its ability to pull non-relational data out of mainframes; EMC, one of many firms racing to help companies bring more structure to their unstructured data, debuted content-integration software that will let businesses access unstructured data with their enterprise applications. And that's just the news from the last nine days. You can get a quick rundown on all the latest developments here.

Vendors are busy at work because they've got a lot left to do, and they know it. So urgent is users' desire to integrate their data with their enterprise applications, in fact, that it seems the vendors have been overplaying their capabilities on that score. In our last Business Intelligence Pipeline poll, a surprisingly high portion of our respondents -- 80% -- said that integration between analytics tools and data sources is rarely or never as easy as their vendors told them it would be. Only 8% said it's as easy "most of the time."

So, yes, there's been some exaggeration at work among the vendors. Surprise, surprise. But it's also true that they're working hard to fill in their offerings' integration gaps. It's just a fact that part of the BI practitioner's job, just like the job of most other IT experts, is to separate the real vendor capability wheat from the bogus vendor claim chaff. It's going to stay that way. The good news on the integration front is that we're steadily getting more options, and more real capability, as the months -- and even the days -- unfold.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Agile Archive
The Agile Archive
When it comes to managing data, donít look at backup and archiving systems as burdens and cost centers. A well-designed archive can enhance data protection and restores, ease search and e-discovery efforts, and save money by intelligently moving data from expensive primary storage systems.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest September 23, 2014
Intrigued by the concept of a converged infrastructure but worry you lack the expertise to DIY? Dell, HP, IBM, VMware, and other vendors want to help.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.