Big Data in the Windy City

The Aqua building, catty corner from my hotel

Last Tuesday and Wednesday, I attended the TDWI (The Data Warehouse Institute) world conference in Chicago.  The show was a mix of courses and exhibit space.

I went to learn about the BI/Data warehousing segment and scout in preparation for the next conference in August.

Why BI?

My interest in the space comes from the fact that two of the three first partners in our Cloud Partner program are in the Data Warehousing and analytics space: Aster Data and Greenplum.  Both these partners are leveraging highly scaled-out architectures to crunch data.

While there, besides checking out the 24 companies on the exhibit floor, I attended three half-day classes: Developing your BI tool strategy, Cool BI, the latest innovations, Extending BI to support online marketing and Web 2.0.

For other newbies like myself, here are some notes from the first course.

My Notes: The layers of the BI Lifecycle stack

BI Suites:

  • What they do : Query, report, analyze, visualize, alert (front end to the chain)
  • The Big 4:  IBM (Cognos), SAP (Business Objects), Oracle (Hyperion), Microsoft
    • They all bought small players who excelled in the space
    • Usually offer the suites as part of a complete BI lifecycle stack
    • Two of the remaining independents are Microstrategy and SAS

Data Management

  • Data warehouse/mart databases and storage
  • Usually in a RDBMS but also in a dedicated OLAP database
  • Examples: Aster Data, Greenplum, Neteeza, Teradata

Data Integration (aka ETL)

  • They extract, transform and load info from the layer below into the layer above.
  • Examples: Informatica

Operational Apps/Systems

  • Planning, ERP, CRM etc
  • Orders, Invoices, Shipping, Web clicks

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…

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