Monetizing muck: Can metadata see into data lakes and extract value?


Metadata is earning shout-outs at BigData SV 2017 in San Jose, CA, as a practical first step to monetizing massive, murky data lakes.

“This old world where IT would prepare the data and then I got a single metric or I got a couple metrics to choose from is now turned on its head,” said Stephanie McReynolds (pictured, left), vice president of marketing at Alation Inc.

McReynolds and Lee Paries (pictured, right), vice president of sales in the Americas at Think Big Analytics Inc. (part of Teradata), spoke to John Furrier (@furrier) and George Gilbert (@ggilbert41), co-hosts of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile studio, during the BigData SV 2017 event.

They discussed how vast data lakes have driven this and more tools to break down their size and complexity. (*Disclosure below.) 

She agreed with Furrier and Gilbert that metadata is coming to the fore as a possible solution. “Everyone’s talking about the importance of metadata and open integration with metadata,” she said.

The data about the data

McReynolds said that her company goes deep into technical metadata, the open transfer of which is key to analytics’ foundation. “But what really brings that technical metadata to life is also understanding what is the business context of what’s happening technically in the system.” she said.

Alation accomplishes this with machine learning, artificial intelligence and its integration with Kylo, data lake management software from Think Big Analytics.

Paries stressed McReynolds’ point about business use. Businesses often can’t get to their data or do not even know it exists, “which goes back to collecting the basic metadata and data about the data to know what’s there to leverage it,” he said. It can then be organized into easy-to-understand templates for business users.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of BigData SV 2017. (*Disclosure: Some segments on SiliconANGLE Media’s theCUBE are sponsored. Sponsors have no editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE