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October 20, 2015

Teradata CTO: Data gravity to propel eXtreme Analytics into business

Analysis: Stephen Brobst, CTO of Teradata, predicts that 'Big Data' will just be 'Data' in as little as three years.

By Joao Lima

The first day of Teradata Partners 2015 saw the company’s CTO take to the stage to talk about data and analytics as well as other trends hitting the industry.

In his keynote, Brobst stated that we could be nearing the end to the term ‘Big Data’ – just like the term smartphone has fallen into disuse..

"In three years we will not use the term Big Data anymore. In three years from now, it will be just Data."

Moving on to trends, the CTO said that the main trend the industry is going through in the data acquisition space is the need for more and faster data, which is leading towards a shift in ‘data gravity’.

Brobst said that data gravity is defined as the "economic pull of data to its most natural resting place".

Historically, data gravity for analytic repositories has demonstrated strong affinity to corporate data centres.

"As the locational creation of data shifts from internal to external data sources, there will be a corresponding shift of data gravity from on-premise storage to off-premise."

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In many cases, it will not make sense to wholesale "copy" external sources of data into a corporate repository.

As operational source systems pivot into the cloud, analytic repositories will follow suit.

With this shift, new forms of analytics will also appear and the age of eXtreme Analytics (X-DW) will offer extreme performance, scalability, availability, freshness, comprehensiveness, integration and granularity.

X-DW, the CTO stated, will deliver response times measured in milliseconds, access to petabytes of data, and will be "up all the time (…) eliminating all planned and unplanned downtime".

"It becomes data warehousing on the Edge."

There are also four big concerns related to X-DW according to Brobst. First, businesses need to understand why they would undertake this route. This is followed by concerns surrounding the technical feasibility and economic side of the solutions.

However, the biggest barriers to X-DW are organisational politics.

"We can talk a lot about technology, but the hardest problems are not with technology. The real issues are privacy, accessibility, and security. We have to protect the data.

"If you are not encrypting your data, you are not doing what you should to protect it. We are very information centric now, so you have to pay attention to data."

In order to successfully secure and work around data, just like in many other industries, the 21st century is pushing companies in the data field towards ecosystems of partners and alliances.

"Ecosystem approach is becoming an industry standard and best practice."

By working as an ecosystem, companies will be able to achieve more than if they work alone. He said that the new worlds of Hadoop, Open Source, and Cloud are industry movements.

"Access to anybody, anything, anytime, anywhere", that is the goal of an IoT ecosystem and data plays the major role in achieving the right outcomes.

"The mobile is going to be the channel that matters. Mobility becomes a hub for gathering data, but also delivering offers. Social media data is not perfect, but good enough to be useful."

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