Innovation Distinguishes Between a Leader and a Follower

Steve Jobs is arguably the most amazing innovator of our times.  I recently read some of his thoughts on innovation. His statement “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower,” caused me to reflect upon my eight-year association with data virtualization, and consider who in the IT analyst community have been the innovative leaders.

Since 2006, I have worked with over one hundred IT analysts to define and advance the data virtualization market.  I even teamed up with one, Judith Davis, to co-author the first book on data virtualization, Data Virtualization: Going Beyond Traditional Data Integration to Achieve Business Agility.

Others such as Rick van der Lans, author of data virtualization’s second book, Data Virtualization for Business Intelligence Systems: Revolutionizing Data Integration for Data Warehouses and the seminal article, The Network is the Database, have contributed mightily to the market’s understanding of data virtualization’s capabilities, advantages and benefits.

The role call of top analysts doing innovative work continues with Noel Yuhanna of Forrester who wrote the analyst community’s first research paper on data virtualization in January 2006, Information Fabric: Enterprise Data Virtualization.

Gartner’s Ted Friedman and Mark A. Beyer, and more recently Merv Adrian, Roxane Edjlali, Mei Selvage, Svetlana Sicular and Eric Thoo, have been both descriptive and proscriptive about the use of data virtualization as a data integration delivery method, a data service enabler and a key component in what Gartner calls the Logical Data Warehouse.

Dave Wells, author of TDWI’s Data Virtualization Course, Data Virtualization: Solving Complex Data Integration Challenges, helped bring data virtualization into the mainstream.    As did Boulder BI Brain Trust members Claudia Imhoff, Colin White, John O’Brien, Ralph Hughes, John Myers and more who I recently wrote about in Rocky Mountains High On Data Virtualization.

Further, there have been myriad analysts who have amazing contributions.

  • The learned trio of Dr. Barry Devlin, Dr. Robin Bloor, and Dr. Richard Hackathorn have pushed the art of the possible.
  • While analyst / practitioners such as Jill Dyche, Mike Ferguson, Rick Sherman, Steve Dine, Evan Levy, David Loshin and William McKnight, via their hands-on client work, have “kept data virtualization grounded on reality street,” to quote Mike Ferguson.
  • And let’s not forget the Massachusetts’ Waynes — Wayne Eckerson formerly of TDWI and Wayne Kernochan, author of the eponymous Thoughts From a Software IT Analyst blog.  Their voices and insights have proven invaluable.

To quote Gene Rodenberry, “It isn’t all over; everything has not been invented; the human adventure is just beginning.”  The same is true for data virtualization.  So I look forward to more great insights from these innovators, as well as a new generation led by Puni Rajah of Canalys and Vernon Turner of IDC.

To see Rick van der Lans and Barry Devlin on stage and gain even more insights from the 2014 Data Virtualization Leadership Award winners, join us at Data Virtualization Day 2014 on October 1 in New York City.

Watch for a sneak peek of Data Virtualization Day 2014.

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Announcing the 2013 Data Virtualization Champion

There is an old saying: “If you want something done, give it to the busiest person you know who is qualified to do that thing.”  When I consider my experience, it seems to be true that the most reliable candidate for a task is typically the one most people go to with their requests.  Thus, that person is very busy indeed!

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When Data Virtualization Meets the Network

Most followers of data virtualization have a data management background. This is why many did not immediately understand why “a networking company” like Cisco would be interested in acquiring data virtualization market leader Composite Software.

Data Virtualization Meets the Network,” a report from analyst firm EMA does a great job exploring several of the factors behind this powerful new combination.

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Counting Down to Data Virtualization Day 2013

Take Big Advantage of Your Data with Composite and Cisco

Today, the difference between business leaders and also-rans is how well they leverage their data.
And with big data and cloud causing data to be more distributed than ever, world-class data virtualization and networking technology have become critical to this success.

With the acquisition of Composite Software, only Cisco provides this powerful combination.

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The Future of Data Virtualization

Rick van der Lans is the most prolific analyst covering the data virtualization scene these days.

Rick’s recent BeyeNetwork article, Data Virtualization: Where Do We Stand Today?  provides an excellent overview of Rick’s latest data virtualization thinking. I found his thoughts on the future of data virtualization products to be prescient.

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Achieving Greater Agility with Business Intelligence

TDWI does some of the best primary research in the BI and Data Management market.  Their Q1 2013 TDWI Best Practices Report, Achieving Greater Agility with Business Intelligence , by David Stodder is one example among many.

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New Research: Data Virtualization Perceptions and Market Trends

A newly published BI Leadership Benchmark Report concludes that data virtualization software is the key to creating an agile, cost-effective data management infrastructure.

The report, Data Virtualization: Perceptions and Market Trends, which includes survey results from 192 BI professionals, was authored by Wayne Eckerson, Director, BI Leadership, a TechTarget research service.

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Tudor Investment Corporation Acquires Data Virtualization

Tudor Investment Corporation, a globally pre-eminent hedge fund manager, has joined an impressive list of Composite customers with their recent adoption of data virtualization.

Tudor purchased the Composite Data Virtualization Platform to create a virtual data layer to streamline access to market and trade data for traders, analysts, and management. “This increased agility will enable us to better serve our user community by reducing the time required to deliver data requests,” says Paul Mark Skittone, Tudor’s Head of Data Services.

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How Data Abstraction Works Part 1

Organizations today understand that better access to information assets can improve their bottom-line.

But they struggle with the variety of enterprise, cloud and big data sources, and all their associated access mechanisms, syntax, security, etc.  Further, few data sources are structured properly for business user or application consumption, let alone reuse.  And often the data is incomplete or duplicated.

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Going Deep on Analytic Sandboxes and Data Hubs

Richard Sherman, founder of Athena IT Solutions, which provides business intelligence, data integration and data warehouse consulting and training, has published two new white papers describing a new generation of analytical sandboxes and analytical hubs and their emerging role in enabling agile analytics.

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