Future Integration Needs: Embracing Complex Data

Future Integration Needs: Embracing Complex Data is a report from the Aberdeen Group that I found posted at the Informatica website.

It is the sort of white paper that you can leave with executives so they can evaluate the costs of not integrating their data streams.

Two points that I point out for your amusement:

First, data integration isn’t a new topic nor did someone wake up last week and realize that data integration could lead to all the benefits that are extolled in this white paper. I suspect the advantages of integrated data systems has been touted to businesses for as long as data systems, manual or otherwise have existed.

The question the white paper does not answer (or even raise) is why do data integration issues persist? Just in the digital age, decades have been spent pointing the problem out and proposing solutions. A white paper that answered that question might help find solutions.

As it is, the white paper says “if you had a solution to this problem, for which we don’t know the cause, you would be better off.” No doubt but not very comforting.

BTW, in case you didn’t notice, the “n = 122″ you keep seeing in the article means the sweeping claims are made on the basis of 122 respondents to a survey. It doesn’t say if it was one of those call you during dinner sort of phone surveys or not.

The second point to notice is that the conclusion of the paper is that you need a single product to use for data integration. Gee, I wonder where you would find software like that! ;-)

I am sure the Informatica software is quite capable but my concern remains one of how do we transition from one software/format to another? Legacy formats and even code have proven to be more persistent than any one imagined. Software/formats don’t so much migrate as expand to fill the increasing amount of digital data.

Now that would be an interesting metric to ask the digital universe is expanding crowd. How many formats are coming online to represent the expanding amount of data? And where are we going to get the maps to move from one to another?

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