The COLLABORATE 17 conference for Oracle professionals has come and gone for 2017. It was an event which clearly illustrated the disruptive changes we are currently experiencing in technology. The age of Big Data has moved the needle for data professionals and the shift from traditional RDBMS to low-cost scalable data platforms — like Hadoop and NoSQL — is top of mind as more organizations see the value that they can achieve with open-source technologies.
There was a distinct focus this year about how to leverage Big Data within your existing data strategy. The need to adapt and not simply replace data warehouses is an important concept to achieving true value from your new data investments. There were many examples of using Big Data technologies to augment data storage and enhance data analytics. The future of the database landscape is changing especially in the reporting and analytic fields. The days of building the big Enterprise Data Warehouse that serves as the only reporting facility are long gone, we need to build data platforms which are agile and adaptable.
As a result of the new approach, the use of scope of RDBMS’s are being reduced and much of the work is being moved to the Big Data platforms. So now when people look to extend their data warehouse, they look to offloading processing and preparatory data to a lower cost platform. This ultimately allows organizations to delay or eliminate the need for upgrades of servers or storage. The cost savings can be compelling and most organizations have noticed and have adjusted their data strategies.
Governance in this time is also a big concern and one which numerous organizations are addressing. The need to govern Big Data is critical to its ultimate success. Too many companies have established Big Data platforms where they are loading all of their data. At first, this seemed like a good idea, but they have since realized that you cannot provide ungoverned and non-curated data. The same rigor we have applied to our structured data systems is needed for our Big Data solutions. Therefore, we must extend our governance processes and technology to include this new paradigm.
We must now understand all data which is ingested into our Data Lakes. We are must prepare the data so that it can be integrated in a meaningful manner and is usable by any data analyst, not simply data scientists. The key to enablement is training and sharing. We must find ways to educate the users on the data as well as how best to use the tools to access the data. We are in a new world and need to understand the new landscape. By creating a collaborative environment, we can find ways to extend how data is used and create data-driven organizations.
This year’s COLLABORATE conference was one where you could visibly see the change in our data world occurring. Recent years have seen a change in Oracle’s message that they are now selling Cloud and application services. The database, the core of their business, has been relegated to the bench. Oracle sees the trend away from costly RDBMSs toward open source data stores and has tried to change their focus. At the same time, the technology world has looked to solve the scalability and costs associated with modern RDBMSs and, instead, now provide a viable option which can scale at an effective cost. The times have changed.