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Research Round Up – on Data Lakes, NoSQL, and Information Governance

by Andrew White  |  July 25, 2014  |  5 Comments

It is not often I “toot my own horn” and for good reason.  I am a modest bloke, really.  Today I will toot away and also share some new research from a colleague of mine.  In the last few weeks a couple of important research notes sneaked out.  And I could not help myself from sharing my enthusiasm with you.  So here goes.

A couple of days ago my colleague Nick Heudecker and I published, “The Data Lake Fallacy – all water and little substance“.  This short note explores a major fallacy hidden in the dark depths of the emerging data lakes, and explores how end user organizations can convert their dirty lakes into logical, sustainable-value-yielding data warehouses.  This note actually plays on some work that Nick initiated a few months ago that had led to another of his notes.

In Q4 last year was Agenda Manager for the Information Management team.  Agenda Manager is a fun role; it allows one to exploit a marketing flair, with an empathy for the end user, with a keen mind and a collaborative spirit.  An Agenda Manager is a kind of brand manager, but where the brand is a topic or theme or research area.  One has the prevue across the entire Gartner landscape from sales, marketing, research, events, consulting, production and so on.  It really is a key and fun, and developing role.  Anyway, as AM you need to spend time each month with team members understanding what they are seeing in the market, and generating a shared plan to leverage that insight, married to the corporate goals and merged with the Information Management agenda at the time.  In my dialog with Nick some months past, he had identified an interesting phenomenon in the NoSQL world.  He had figured out that the hype and enthusiasm for new NoSQL projects was going ahead without due time and attention being given to what happens when such things run wild.  On one of our Agenda Management calls we came up with the idea of a “governance debt” being created and so Nick published, in December 2013, “Does your NoSQL DBMS Result in Information Governance Debt?”  I loved the premise and the title and was really glad to see Nick publish his idea.  I was fortunate to be Agenda Manager when that happened.  And I am convinced now, more than ever, that Nick will be going places at Gartner.  Watch out for his work.

On a more personal and selfish manner I just published what I consider to be an important note – only 2 years late.  At least, the original idea came to me about two or even three years ago.  I didn’t invent the idea per se – I just visually described what end users were struggling with in a such a way that another end user could interpret the problem, and turn it into a solution.  If you ever wanted proof that we are all, part-time Information Architects, this the the note for you: “Gartner’s Three Rings of Information Governance Help You Prioritize Different Types of Data“.  The idea conveyed in this note should help anyone interested in understanding and then explaining how to delineate between different information attributes and objects for any number of efforts, spanning data and application integration, ERP, Master Data Management, Data Warehousing/BI and so on.  I would love to get your feedback.

Anyway, that’s enough horn tooting for one day.  Have a good weekend!

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Category: data-lake  data-warehouse  information-governance  information-stewardship-applications  logical-data-warehouse  nosql  

Andrew White
Research VP
8 years at Gartner
22 years IT industry

Andrew White is a Distinguished Analyst and VP. His roles include Chief of Research and Content Lead for Data and Analytics. His main research focus is data and analytics strategy, platforms, and governance. Read Full Bio


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  2. […] On one of our Agenda Management calls we came up with the idea of a “governance debt” being created and so Nick published, in December 2013, “Does your NoSQL DBMS Result in Information Governance Debt?  […]



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