Here we are, jumping through hoops and fire, giving it our mighty best to find that elusive insight, in the hope that our phalanges flying across these keys dance in tune to the symphony of a seemingly vestigial cranial organ, with an orchestra of dying cells that are best augmented with our digital creations, their clinical precision and their brutal compute strategically supplemented only by well-positioned human deficiencies in fathoming the insurmountable volumes of data that are starting to become the cobwebs of our mind.
Phew … that was one breath! What we are really saying is that data is too big for humans, and generating insights are too big for machines as we know them today. It’s the marriage of the two that makes it all possible.
If you haven’t already, we implore you to spend 2:43 minutes of your life and watch this clip from our favorite movie “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” We believe this clip from Douglas Adams’ pentalogy pretty much nails the bane of a data scientist’s existence: For it’s not just the answer but the right question that leads to the elusive transformational insight.
No matter your industry, data is definitely a key topic. We will go as far as to say, no one really just cares about data. What we really care about is a meaningful action we can take from an insight that we derived from data. In the space of data topics, the need of the hour is commoditizing all non-differentiating activities in an organization and focusing only on differentiating functions—such as generating actionable insights. There is a need to invest and grow in this area, and no matter where organizations are in their data maturity, we can’t help feel that we have barely scratched the surface.
Most of us in organizations spend significant amounts of time and money on engineering activities. If engineering is not your organization’s core business proposition, you should be spending less and less on that. Most of your investment should be spent on curating insights for your core business functions.
In larger organizations, it is very common to have departments dedicated to application engineering, infrastructure engineering and maintenance, database administration, server administration, network administration, disaster recovery, life cycle management and related topics. If you then add a global context, regional regulation, audit, internal policies, security and cyber risk, the factor of complexity in having strong data foundations goes up significantly. While all of this keeps us responsible and resilient, it doesn’t guarantee profitability or agility.
We are trying to solve for the opportunity of business growth and transformation using data and abstract away the complexities of services of hosting, engineering and managing data. We need to turn our seemingly differentiating function of data engineering into a service so we can focus on the real opportunity of insights and action.
In automobile parlance, unless you have DIY interests, most people just want to get from point A to point B. It is either just transportation or also a delightful experience you want to savor. For most private car users, we are pretty sure you want to spend less money designing and manufacturing a car or maintaining it. We expect it to be a product we can use towards our real goals. A car that requires a lot of investment, away from your real goals is akin to spending significant amounts of investment on data away from the real purpose—insights and actions.
The MarkLogic Data Hub Service helps us navigate our investment to what we really care about. Abstract a database away to make room for human capacity, speed and agility towards data management and sciences. Data Hub Service has the potential to do that legwork upfront (more rapid data ingestion, improved performance and more) at lower costs by automatically and elastically scaling within minutes to respond to changing business requirements.
We are saying that this is a very common theme no matter which industry you come from or what role you play. We would love to share our insights and exchange some notes with you! Let us talk more about this at the MarkLogic World Conference in May, where we will share our experience with the MarkLogic Data Hub Service. Come join us at our presentation to learn more!
View all posts from Gayathri Pandurangan & Pranav Rao on the Progress blog. Connect with us about all things application development and deployment, data integration and digital business.
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