TRANSFORMING BIG DATA INTO BIG ANALYSIS
Democratization Will Strike Again
Work in or with technology much and you’re likely to know the impact that the forces of democratization can accomplish. Broadening the effective population that can perform an essential task – without resorting to agency or hand-holding – has been at the heart of most business ‘disruptions’ of the Internet Era. There’s an emerging dynamic in the convergence of Big Data and democratized access to data analytic tools, like Tableau.
First, let me state my belief. The long-term trend toward the democratization of information is an inevitable, and unstoppable, force. Kings, religions, and political movements could not reverse the trend – corporate IT isn’t any more likely to do so. The benefits and sheer joy associated with freedom are too strong and compelling. This week’s case-in-point, The Tableau Conference 2015 in Las Vegas. Search Twitter for #Data15 for two minutes and you’ll glimpse half of this emerging dynamic.
Community and empowerment are consistent memes – reinforced by inspiring keynotes.
Hundreds of thousands of data-literate analysts seeking autonomy and a sense of mastery – with a purpose. We’re past the tipping point.
At various points in history (think printing press and books, PC’s and spreadsheets, mobile devices and data visualization tools), the momentum for wider access and impact has seemed overwhelming – but in each case, obstacles emerged to slow the process of democratization.
The focal point of convergence between the supply (and management) of Big Data and the demand for analytic business intelligence is precisely the ability to find, provision, and share data. The challenge is to scale the analytic literacy by several orders of magnitude – without a corresponding increase in the cost of supplying or managing the data required for analysis.
Connecting the ‘Last Mile’
In my last post, I suggested that finding data should be as easy as finding and purchasing a book. At the heart of that suggestion is a confidence that self-service tools – in particular, tools that ‘virtualize’ the data sets we analyze – are a key enabler for those who demand data (analysts) and those who supply and manage data (IT data managers).
With the launch of the semantic data catalog for Tableau, Attivio offers precisely the right tools for analysts and data managers alike. Users browse automatically profiled data sources and tables, through an e-Commerce style experience, selecting candidates for analysis into ‘virtual’ data collections. Possible links that join tables (even across EDW silos) are computed, proposed, and dispatched to visualization interfaces – establishing the precise connection to retrieve data from every selected table/repository.
No data is moved from its existing location. Existing security, governance, and management are maintained and respected – simplifying IT’s support commitments as the use of data visualization expands. These collections, or ‘data marts’ can be saved and shared – supporting the collaborative ethos found on most data analytic teams.
If you’re a Tableau user or a data manger charged with provisioning data regularly to Tableau users, within two years, you’ll be using a solution like the Attivio semantic data catalog. Why?
The Point is Big Analysis, Not Big Data …
… I’m very sure about this. Data, without analysis and interpretation, is noise (tip the hat to Nate Silver, The Signal and the Noise, for this metaphor).
Analysis and visualization discover signals – the signals that drive the data-driven economy. Providing analysts with the autonomy and capability for mastery in collecting data for analysis has the potential to eliminate the bottlenecks between Big Data and expanded data analysis – and properly reverse the proper point of emphasis – the future of the digital economy will be determined by the Big Analysis of Big Data, not Big Data residing under-utilized in warehouses, spreadsheets, lakes, or other repositories.
To accomplish this transformation – to ‘flip’ the proportions of time spent collecting/waiting for data and time spent analyzing data and communicating insight – that’s the purpose for people who love their data, love their visualizations, and love their freedom.
“Do I have your attention” …
Here’s a quick (2:32) introduction to the semantic data catalog – illustrating how Tableau users can accomplish the ‘flip’. And become a Jedi-ninja with super-powers.
NOTICE: No data was moved or harmed during the preparation of this video.
Expect this –
- Arrive at insights sooner, with greater certainty and confidence,
- Transform your analytic productivity, and
- Crush your project deadlines like never before.
Change. Your. World.