I have been working with databases and business intelligence systems for close to 20 years now, and what always struck me as odd was how slow and cumbersome these systems tend to be. Waiting hours or days for answers used to be a regular affair, and each new query would often require weeks of advance work and careful scripting to create indexes and denormalize the data.

Over the years computers have become faster and RAM has become cheaper; however the field of business intelligence has also evolved, and what would have been acceptable, or even exceptional in the past, simply won’t cut it today: data is much bigger in size and more complex; it comes from new and unpredictable sources, both structured and unstructured; the questions organizations ask about their data are more complicated; and the answers need to be delivered immediately or they will become irrelevant in today’s rapid decision-making processes.

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