Now for my core coverage area — data warehousing (DW) — and the topic of my first Forrester research report, coming soon. (Everybody note: Boris Evelson is our lead BI analyst. But given that BI and DW are joined at the hip, I had to put in my two cents on the intersections of these (and other related topics — I also cover CEP for Forrester as it impacts information and knowledge management professionals).
Business intelligence (BI) remains one of the most vital and innovative sectors of the data management arena. The past year saw BI achieve a new degree of importance in the solution portfolios of users everywhere. In fact, BI has begun to play into a much broader range of enterprise IT planning and deployment decisions than ever before. What follows are the most important trends that will continue to transform the BI industry, and add a new degree of complexity into decisions confronting CIOs, enterprise architects, and information and knowledge management professionals:
While I echo my colleagues' earlier comments on the Microsoft/FAST Search transaction, I also give Microsoft thumbs up for being the first of the major BI vendors to embrace alternative DBMS for BI. For a while now I've been predicting that alternative DBMS for BI will gain continually increasing momentum for the following reasons:
Traditional relational databases were designed from the ground up for transaction processing, not BI. Only in the last decade have they even begun to accommodate BI-style queries, and still play a constant balancing act between OLTP and OLAP optimization. Columnar databases, such as Vertica, Sybase IQ, KX, ParAccel, SAND Technology, InfoBright, are specifically designed and optimized for nothing but OLAP query processing. Their schemas are also much more flexible since it's as easy to drop, add, or update a column in a columnar database as it is to insert, change, or delete a row in a relational database.