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Data warehousing reaches "significant inflection point" in 2011

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28th Feb 2011
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Over the year ahead, data warehouses will increasingly be used less to store and analyse information and more to understand business data in context, Gartner has advised.

The market researcher believes that the market has reached "what could well be its most significant inflection point since its inception". According to Donald Feinberg, vice president and distinguished analyst at the firm, this means that: "In 2011, we are seeing data warehouse platforms evolve from an information store supporting traditional business intelligence platforms to a broader analytics infrastructure supporting operational analytics, corporate performance management and other new applications and uses such as operational BI."

As a result, data was now being loaded on an almost continual basis and online transactional processing support was being added to systems, he said. But because the market was shifting from “storage and access to delivery and comprehension”, metadata was also becoming increasingly important to provide context as were business process management tools.

Mark Beyer, a research vice president at Gartner, believes that the move could result in data integration tools vendors challenging database management system providers for dominance of the market.

"By 2013, we predict that data warehouse DBMS vendors will combine their offerings to become something more like an information management platform. The DBMS will become, above all else, an execution platform. It will support and perform data management and integration tasks as well as query and analysis execution," he said.

Therefore, although the traditional data warehouse DBMS suppliers already provided both databases and execution platforms, the independents "may surprise the mega-vendors", he added.

Feinburg noted, however, that data warehouse licence costs were currently on the rise as vendors started to expand their offerings and tried to market them as ‘easier to implement and manage’, with the trade-off being lower admin and management costs over the longer term.

"While cost is driving alternative architectures, performance optimisation is driving multi-tiered data architectures including a strong interest in in-memory data mart deployments. At the high end, data warehousing is now mission-critical," he said.

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