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Don’t Let Your IT Be a Race Car With a Buggy Whip

Imagine a driver heading to the finish line by encouraging his race car to get that extra bit of oomph by wielding a buggy whip — a long shaft whose snapping sound spurred horses pulling carriages in days long ago. As ridiculous as that image might seem, it’s similar to how many enterprises today are attempting to harness today’s big data using outdated tools.

These companies understand that their massive collections of structured and unstructured data can be turned into new products and services that can differentiate them—that’s the finish line. However, to achieve this, many are using relational databases—the buggy whip.

Relational database management systems (RDBMS), which model data in tidy modular relationships, have been wheezing under the strain of growing variations of data available for analysis. Yet this technology isn’t just struggling with new forms of data, like social media analytics. Traditional RDBMS are also overwhelmed by structured data—much of which doesn’t perform optimally when stored in different applications.

Enterprise NoSQL provides the necessary horsepower to accelerate development.

Faced with an explosion of data, IT departments have tried quick fixes, like Extract, Transform, Load (ETL), a process which pulls data from various sources, transforms it into a new structure and loads it into a data warehouse.

The problem with this approach is that it only works if you know exactly how the data will be used and what questions will be asked of the data. If, say, a compliance rule is changed, the ETL layer has to be rewritten, a timely and costly process at odds with the very objective of using big data to find new opportunities quickly.

Companies looking to ditch the proverbial buggy whip are moving to Enterprise NoSQL databases, schema-agnostic technology built for structured and unstructured data. The technology is designed for the modern demands of big data; it can scale massively, uses commodity software and provides a faster time to benefit.

A recent survey found NoSQL has 20 percent adoption today and will double within two years. As the Internet of Things promises another huge influx of even more kinds of data, companies know they will be pressed even more to handle information nimbly and will move away from outdated approaches to data. Because a racing car will only go fast as you need it to by using the right fuel.

As Senior Director, Solutions Marketing at MarkLogic, Alicia is responsible for market messaging and content development for solutions across MarkLogic's verticals (Public Sector, Healthcare, Media, Financial Services, Retail, Energy, Insurance, etc.). Prior to joining MarkLogic, she held a variety of marketing and product management roles at software companies in the public sector, security, and healthcare markets.

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