Data and the role it plays in our lives is evolving. We want a lot of it, immediately. The amount of data created each year is growing exponentially. IDC determined that the world generated 161 exabytes of digital information last year. That is up from the 1.5 exabytes the University of California Berkeley noted in their 2003 study "How Much New Information?" The kind of data we consume is also changing to include video, music, PowerPoint presentations as well as structured business data. Amazon.com says there are 9 million blogs in existence with 40,000 new ones created daily.
What are we to do with this information overload? How do we make order out of chaos? The goal is to make the data as accessible, clean and relevant as it can be in a timely manner. As a result, data warehouse/business intelligence (DW/BI) solutions continue to gain importance. This month, DM Review goes back to basics to discuss some best practice concepts behind successful data warehouses and BI implementations.
The cover story by Arkady Maydanchik, "On Hunting Mammoths and Measuring Data Quality," reiterates the importance of understanding your data, its quality and its impact on your business. Ken Karascony and Evan Terry present their proven methodology for success in the online article "Data Quality Cycle 2.0."
As people move in and out of the data warehousing profession, we continually get questions from our readers about warehouse testing and improving communication with the business side of the house. Many of you will be happy to see "Strategies to Test a Data Warehouse" by Jeff Theobald and "The Data Warehouse Content Gap" by Jay Foulkrod address these two topics and provide some best practices for you to follow.
While the DW is the basis for providing data for analysis, BI is the workhorse. See if you agree with Bill Baker who thinks that the BI tipping point has arrived or with John Lehr's approach to predictive analytics in his online exclusive.
Another effect of this information glut is what to do with all of the data that is collected and saved. The product reviews this month focuses on storage and storage management. Our columnists provide solutions regarding strategy formation, measurement metrics, communication techniques and DW design suggestions to help you manage your data without getting overwhelmed by the immensity of the projects at hand (read the online exclusive "Meet the New Boss" by Stephen Hawald and Keith Kerr for tips on project management).
All of this feeds into the broader world of information management. This month, DM Review, BI Review and Ventana Research are conducting one-day seminars in New York, San Francisco and Chicago on the topic. Please check out the ad on page 17 for more information and to register.
Thanks for reading,
Mary Jo Nott,
Editor in Chief
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