Dear Data Scientist: Your Data Warehouse Is Blurring Your Vision

Look at the blurry image. If I gave you until the end of the day, could you tell me what it is? The patterns in the data tell you that “something” is there, but what? Iteratively increasing the pixels in the field of interest—resolution–brings those patterns into focus. Each iteration makes it clearer.


Sharpening business insights is like that. It is an iterative process. Blurry patterns come into focus through multiple iterations. If you are tasked with making a confident business decision, every analytics iteration gives you more confidence in your decision.

Time is your enemy. Here is why.

Successive iterations build on one another. They can require new data that wasn’t anticipated until the first iteration was run. In a recent poll of data scientists, nearly 100% felt that “rapid data integration” was critical to the iterative process enabling sharper insights. But 85% of business and IT professionals say that business moves faster than IT can respond. In other words, as the business finds trends in data that cause them to request additional sources to sharpen their insights, IT can’t deliver those fast enough. A traditional, lumbering, monolithic data warehouse never has and never will support iterative discovery at business speed. Never.

Like the blurry image, you are in a position where you have to make assumptions and take best guesses. Why gamble? Today, you should be able to integrate and use new data in a day or two. Self-service all the way back to the data warehouse is fast becoming a reality. You can now get five or six iterations in a decision cycle rather than one or two. That blurry image gets MUCH clearer.

Now you’ve had time to ponder the image. You can do what you may be doing when you roll the dice with that cumbersome warehouse you have now and make a guess based on what you see. Or, you can sharpen your insight.

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