Q&A Donal Farmer

Q&A with TreeHive Strategy’s Donald Farmer: How Magnitude is closing the gap on data connectivity

At this year’s Strata Data Conference, Magnitude unveiled its breakthrough data connectivity solution, Magnitude Gateway  with customers and partners. We caught up with data analytics thought leader and TreeHive Strategy principal, Donald Farmer on his perspective on data connectivity and Magnitude’s new offering.

What changes are you seeing in data management today?

There’s been an explosion of data sources driven by the growth of the cloud and with the ease at which companies are able to deploy a variety of data platforms. At the same time, business users are more empowered with self-service access to data from a variety of apps like Tableau and Qlik, and many others. The combination of rapidly expanding data sources in the cloud and the increasing data literacy of business users that demand access to more data is driving the need to modernize the existing approach to data connectivity.

What are the current data connectivity challenges?  

Today, for each new data source, IT departments have to provision and manage each adapter or connection independently. That’s a burden itself, but in order for business users to make sense of the data, it needs to be enriched with business metadata which makes clear its business meaning and purpose. Even if a column is labeled as ‘Start Date’ in a database (and column names are rarely so readable), more enrichment of the data is needed for a business user: is this the start date of a contract, a first order, or some other form of customer interaction?

What are the implications of the Magnitude Gateway offering for the market?

In the past, Magnitude has done a good job of providing a wide range of adaptors and connectors and they’re one of the market leaders in providing connectivity. Now with Magnitude Gateway, they’ve created a breakthrough for IT in providing an integrated and single gateway for managing a common set of services across all adaptors.

In the modern world, everyone uses multiple apps and this Gateway solves the need for connecting many apps and many data sources. For business users, whatever app or apps they may use, they now have a single source to access all applications in a consistent way.

Are there other benefits with this kind of data connectivity innovation?

Beyond, efficiency, scale and making IT more efficient, system administrators can start to get usage information from Magnitude Gateway. This means they can monitor usage patterns across data sources in one place, such as: tracking how many users are connecting to each source and what apps they are using. This gives IT richer insights into the systems, performance and business value of the systems that they’re managing.

How does this factor into cost considerations?

IT is increasingly moving toward a subscription-based model for most technologies. The ability for IT to purchase data connectivity via a subscription model is appealing. I envision that getting rid of the cumbersome and costly approach of having to manage every single driver is highly valuable for IT organizations.