One of the UK's leading thinkers on information management issues, Research Director, Philip Howard has been studying some new developments from Informatica, which has spent the last year consolidating around its Intelligent Data Platform (IDP).
Apart from discussions about the company's potential privitisation, the focus of this year's Informatica World conference has been on confirming the progress it announced last year with its Intelligent Data Platform (IDP) and the offerings announced to go with that, and on two new products that it will be launching in the forthcoming year that further extend IDP capabilities.
The three products announced last year were MDM version 10, which extended MDM from a traditional 360o view to one that can incorporate non-traditional forms of data; Informatica Rev and Secure@Source.
Informatica Rev (previously known as Project Springbok: a name I prefer, but apparently there too many ignoramuses who don't know what a Springbok is) is a self-service data preparation platform. In our recently published Market Update on this market we showed Informatica Rev as an innovative product in this space rather than as a champion, primarily because it was brand new at the time of our evaluation. However, the company tells me that it has 1,500 companies using the product already, which is impressive, even though these are cloud users (the product is not yet available on-premise: see below). When we re-evaluate this market (which will be soon: we expect twice as many vendors by the end of 2015 as there were at the end of 2014), Informatica may well be better placed.
Secure@Source only just got released in time for Informatica World, formally appearing last month. It leverages Informatica's pre-existing static and dynamic masking capabilities but goes a lot further than that: the basic idea being that if your sensitive data can be discovered, profiled and masked then it won't profit anyone to hack into that data. The product allows you to get an integrated view of your sensitive data regardless of where it resides (on-premise, cloud, mobile and so forth) and to trace its provenance. This last is important: often data emanates from one place but is reused in multiple other places. Secure@Source lets you visualise this lineage and see where it is, or is not, protected. The products also has monitoring and risk assessment capabilities.
The two new products that are scheduled are Project Sonoma and Intelligent Data Lake. The former is about understanding your data resources and artefacts with a metadata repository (the same as used in Secure@Source) that brings together everything you know about where data is, what do you have access to (including third party data), business terms (glossary) related to that data, what relationships exist between data elements, and so forth. You can also include information such as usage data, quality scores and so forth). The product leverages the Titan (now DataStax) graph database in order to store the relevant data relationships and to support subsequent visualisation.
The Intelligent Data Lake (IDL) has discovery, preparation and publishing elements to manage delivery of analytic projects. As far as discovery is concerned - you need to know what data you can access and where it is before you can start to prepare it - IDL will leverage Poject Sonoma. For data preparation: Informatica Rev, which will be available in an on-premise version to support IDL. And then then there will be publication as well as collaboration elements in IDL itself. I would actually argue that this product is misnamed: it is what all data preparation platforms will look like (plus some data wrangling perhaps) in the future and it isn't actually a data lake in the sense that it isn't where you put all of your data prior to analysis. But Informatica changed the name of Springbok so there is hope that it will change the name of IDL. Regardless, I really liked last year's releases and I expect to feel the same way about this year's.