John Whittaker is Executive Director of Information Management for Dell Software.
The volume of data is growing exponentially as various channels and sources create large and complex data sets. As the variety of data grows, more vendors have emerged on the scene with solutions to help manage, analyze and ultimately turn that data into value. Among the chaos of an increasingly complex big data landscape, organizations hope to bring sense to various types of data, especially unstructured data. At the same time, traditional data sets still remain a foundational piece of businesses environments. Thus, understanding how to maintain and leverage both structured and unstructured data from new sources has become a challenge.
With these changes, database administrators (DBAs) are forced to adapt to handling these growing sets of data and data sources, while continuing to operate efficiently and productively. It’s vital for DBAs to keep in mind a few key tips in order to acquire and implement the new skills necessary to perform in this changing data ecosystem.
Make Structured Data a Priority
According to the results of a Unisphere Research survey of 300 database administrators (DBAs) and others charged with managing corporate data, structured data in relational database management systems (RDBMS) remains the foundation of the information infrastructure in most companies. While the industry is constantly discussing the volume of unstructured data as big data sources explode, it’s vital to keep in mind that structured data still plays the primary role within organizations. In fact, according to the survey, structured data still makes up 75 percent of data under management for more than two-thirds of organizations, with nearly one-third of organizations not yet actively managing unstructured data at all. For DBAs managing data across RDMS technologies, even with the growth of big data and the role it plays in today’s industry landscape, insights from structured data are driving key operational processes, so it still needs to remain top of mind.
Integrate Analytics to Predict Business Change
At the same time, preparing for the incoming continued growth of big data is key to an organization’s successful information management strategy. With the complexity of today’s information infrastructure, remaining ahead of the big data trajectory will help organizations generate effective results and remain competitive. Utilizing predictive analytics has become more and more of a relevant need as CIOs and their database management teams come to face-to-face with increasingly complicated data environments.
The need to support new analytical use cases is the most important factor driving adoption of new database management systems, according to the Unisphere survey. Using data analytics to not only make sense of previous events, but future situations, is critical for database administrators to gain the knowledge necessary to keep their organizations one step ahead.
Leverage the Proper Tools
Staying successful in an industry that continues to advance means obtaining and integrating the right tools. Even with the escalation of big data, according to the Unisphere survey, Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server – often called the most traditional databases – remain the most common platforms organizations use to support key company data. As the industry shifts to make room for the growth of big data entering the industry scene, it’s critical to recognize which tools enable a productive and efficient database management team.
The rise of other databases, including Hadoop and NoSQL, fill a necessary role to manage the influx of unstructured data. However, many companies have not yet matured to the point of implementing them within their data management plans, and default to the proven traditional database systems. Creating an effective and results-oriented information management landscape means understanding your environment and integrating the various tools and skill sets needed to make sense of all areas of the ecosystem – traditional or modern. Doing so will help businesses focus on producing insights that improve operations and drive revenue.
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