Is big data 3.0 really here, or is it just another hodgepodge of software?


The trouble facing Informatica Corp. — the trouble with big data software generally — is that query tools and integration databases don’t come with manuals on how to live day-to-day as a data-driven enterprise.

“It’s more than just a combination of tools; it’s more than just getting data out of applications and getting data out of databases and freeing it up so it can be applied,” said Peter Burris (@plburris) (pictured, center) during Informatica World in San Francisco, California.

Burris and John Furrier (@furrier) (pictured, right), co-hosts of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile live streaming studio, separated big data’s parts from its whole with help from Neil Raden (@NeilRaden) (pictured, left), analyst at Wikibon. (* Disclosure below.)

“It’s a whole different discipline,” Raden said, noting the myopia of Informatica and other big data companies who endlessly chuck tools at enterprises with no thought to a holistic design, at the heart of which must be real people.

Sometimes these companies’ thingamajigs might hurt real-life data monetization more than they help, Raden stated.

A conversation he had with someone from Informatica about the company’s data security products is an illuminating case in point. “I said, ‘Well, have you considered how data security could benefit [business] analysts as opposed to keeping the company out of trouble?’ She couldn’t answer the question,” he recalled.

Eventually, this Informatica employee stated that the system sends alerts if someone’s pattern of data operations suddenly changes, according to Raden.

This is counterproductive, because business analysts must think outside-the-box, so in fact “on a regular basis, they would be requesting data they don’t normally want,” he argued.

Magic Quadrants’ tired tricks

On the positive side, Informatica has very high-performing data integration technology, Raden said.

The company’s investment in creating addressable, horizontally scalable datasets also looks promising, according to Furrier. Most competitors are stuck in a siloed rut there, so if Informatica can break from that and offer cloud-agnostic datasets, that could be a lock-in spec, he added.

But even these and other tools that look great on paper might not help customers cross the chasm into that “whole different discipline.” The progress bar on that must be read on the lips of real business people — not software press releases.

“What is your customer traction? Show me the proof points. I don’t care what Magic Quadrant you have — that’s an old metric; that’s silo-based; that’s not reality based in my opinion,” Furrier said.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s independent editorial coverage of Informatica World 2017. (* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for Informatica World. Neither Informatica Corp. nor other sponsors have editorial influence on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE