On my flight back to Boston from Grapevine, TX, where we spent three exhausting and exhilarating days at Gartner BI & Analytics Summit, I am reflecting on the great interest shown in Cambridge Semantics Smart Data Lake at this event.
In addition to Gartner's flawless execution and excellent attendee profile, this conference stood out for the clear alignment between our products and the pattern of attendee needs.
Most of the hundreds of people that visited our booth this week fell into two camps, either building a data lake or contemplating building a data lake. Almost all were overwhelmed by the dizzying array of products that were on show or, in some cases, that they already owned. For many, there is still a big gap between the exciting promise of ubiquitous user access to data and reality of current technology's ability to deliver this experience.
Here are some of the common requirements that brought people to visit CSI:
- Business Value
Many organizations intuitively understand the potential value of a data lake but lack a compelling use case or business sponsor. Technology cannot solve this problem but it can help by allowing you to start small, deliver fast, and demonstrate how to solve problems that are overwhelming existing approaches.
- Business User Self-Service
In most organizations, the data team is struggling to meet their business customer’s demands for flexible, friendly and timely access to data. Existing approaches can provide this for narrow slices of data but most lack flexibility as needs change and do not scale to enterprise data.
- Access to All Enterprise Data
Users are not just demanding access to data more quickly, they want access to data from across the enterprise. They want to choose the data they need, when they need it, and, they want the flexibility to ask questions that they did not necessarily anticipate in advance.
- Combined Structured and Unstructured Data
Much corporate value is tied up in unstructured content: reports, notes and documents. Users want to access and analyze this content as if it were structured data. and they want to do seamless, integrated analytics across all data sources, regardless of type.
- Data Governance and Security
Most enterprises have invested in data management, governance and security processes and they want to implement these capabilities on the data lake by leveraging their existing investments.
Walking the floor at the conference, you could see many tools that solve some of these problems. But inevitably, you need to piece several of them together to provide a holistic solution. This is an expensive, time consuming and daunting task for most organizations. And this is what makes Cambridge Semantics so interesting
Cambridge Semantics offers a Smart Data Lake solution that provides a layer of governance, harmonized meaning and self-service, at scale, across all your data sources, leveraging your investments in new or existing big data technologies. Our tools are designed for business users and analysts to access and analyze diverse enterprise data without any coding. All while leveraging your existing investments in Hadoop, Spark, BI tools and others.