Themes for 2012

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It’s that time of year. Here are a few thoughts about what’s to come, in no particular order.

  1. Real-time everything. Hardly a surprise. It’s been real-time everything for a few years. What I think is interesting is the growth in the data replication market specifically to support real-time BI as opposed to failover, disaster recovery, zero-downtime migrations and the like. I would not be at all surprised if we see the introduction of lightweight BI-only data replication products into the marketplace.
  2. Continuous BI. I think we’ll hear a lot more about this as a generic market for complex event processing as opposed to the vertical markets that CEP has previously addressed.
  3. CEP adoption by SIEM vendors. I have been arguing for the last two years that SIEM architectures are generally antiquated. The big breakthrough will come if (I think it more likely to be when) IBM announces that InfoSphere Streams has been integrated with QRadar. Now you have a big beast on the one hand and smaller, more agile companies like Red Lambda and Tier-3 all offering CEP in this space and the other suppliers will have to follow suit or a) appear out-of-date and slow (which they are) or b) limit themselves to the SME market.
  4. Warehousing adoption by SIEM vendors. This is the other thing I have been calling for. How can you claim to offer analytics against security and log data if you don’t have an analytic platform to support it? Anyway, what’s the betting that IBM links up Netezza with QRadar (and, for that matter Guardium)? If they do, there could be a scramble to catch up by the other suppliers, which will be good news for other data warehousing companies and also for Sensage, which is the only company in the SIEM space that actually seems to understand how important this is and has done something about it.
  5. Growth in PMML adoption. Talk to more or less anyone outside the data mining community and they have hardly ever heard of the Predictive Modelling Mark-up Language, the standard for porting data mining models. Well, bear in mind that InfoSphere Streams supports PMML and that whenever SAS comes out with its CEP product it is highly likely to support PMML and you have a situation where leading players in both the continuous BI and SIEM spaces are supporting this standard. Isn’t it likely that others will have to follow suit?
  6. Lots more big data. Well, of course. Unfortunately, I don’t expect to see any more clarity during 2012. Indeed, the reverse. As more products and companies enter this space, or claim to, the more murky the whole big data thing will become.
  7. The emergence of the Data Scientist. This is a new class of information worker that appears to have emerged recently. Back in the 90s when data mining first started to become popular the people who found useful needles in haystacks of information were usually data mining specialists. With Hadoop you do not need data mining skills in quite the same way but you have similar tasks to perform. That’s what the data scientist does: in effect, determining what the business should be monitoring.
  8. The logical data warehouse. I wrote about the death of the traditional EDW as the home for all things great and good some time ago and the logical data warehouse, at least as a concept, seems to me pretty much a done deal now. The complication is that vendors like Sybase (SAP) can support a logical EDW within a single physical installation but that’s an implementation issue rather than a conceptual one.