Big data is rapidly turning into bigger data, according to many data scientists and data analysts attending the recent Strata & Hadoop World conference in San Jose, CA.

Information Management caught up with Jeremy Sokolic, vice president at Sisense, and had the opportunity to ask for his observations on what attendees most wanted help with, and what will be the top data management issues for the rest of 2016.


Information Management: What are the most common themes you heard among attendees and how do those themes align with what you expected?

Jeremy Sokolic: There [were] a lot of companies and different industry players at the conference, but we all seem to agree on one thing – the size and complexity of data is growing. There are more data sources and larger data sets available than ever before. This is in line with what we expected, because it’s what we’re seeing firsthand with our clients at Sisense. As data continues to grow and become more complex, getting real, tangible business benefit is still the most elusive piece of the business analytics puzzle.


IM: What are the most common data challenges that attendees said they are facing?

JS: One of the biggest challenges facing businesses of all sizes and in all industries is making data easily accessible to everyday business users for analysis.

There is still a tug of war between business intelligence and IT organizations. While IT needs to insure governance and security, business users are looking elsewhere for faster, more agile business analytic solutions. Most companies have data silos, since each department has their own initiatives, and bridging that gap is a difficult challenge.


IM: What are the most surprising things that you heard regarding their data management initiatives?

JS: There’s more demand to make complex analytics, using tools such as R, available to a broader set of business users and business analysts – without limiting access to specialized data scientists.

For the most part, R has been used by data scientists, but now that business users see the power of self-service BI, they want more. It’s surprising how quickly the demand has grown among business users for the more advanced/predictive capabilities provided by R.


IM: How do these themes relate to your company’s market strategy this year?

JS: Sisense simplifies business analytics for complex data by offering an end-to-end platform that empowers business users to easily prepare and analyze large and disparate data sets. By freeing businesses from their dependence on IT, we’re empowering them to mash-up multiple data sources and get immediate answers to analytic questions.

In fact, we just announced a partnership with Intel, which gives everyday users the power to analyze complex data easily, on their own computers – something that used to require specialized skills and expensive machines. The combination of Intel and Sisense makes data self-service a reality for any business – large or small.


IM: What do you view as the top issues or challenges with data management and data analytics in 2016?

JS: First and foremost, there is a well-known talent crunch in this space – businesses are facing a scarcity of technology and data scientist resources. There simply aren’t enough data scientists in the world to fulfill our growing data needs This is forcing companies to find alternative solutions that remove IT complexity, are agile and allow for fast time to insight.

The other challenge businesses will face in 2016 is the many confusing messages and point solutions in the market, which make it challenging to deliver a complete end-to-end solution that does everything needed to get from dashboard to insight.

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