The Data Unification Imperative — Jerry Held @ CDO Summit



Companies have invested an estimated $3-4 trillion in IT over the last 20-plus years, most of it directed at developing and deploying of single-vendor systems, applications, functions and geographies to automate and optimize key business processes.

The result of all of this disparate activity? “Data silos, schema proliferation, and radical data heterogeneity,” according to Held, Ph.D. and CEO of Held Consulting Group, LLC.

“With companies now investing heavily in big data analytics,” says Held, “this entropy is making the CDO’s job considerably more complex.”

This complexity is best seen when companies attempt to ask “simple” questions across many business silos — be they divisions, geographies or functions. These questions often go unanswered because current top-down, deterministic data unification approaches (such as ETL, ELT and MDM) weren’t designed to scale to the variety of hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of data silos. These systems depend on highly trained architects developing “the one (master) schema to rule them all.” This is a red herring.

Held argues that the fundamental diversity and mutability of enterprise data and semantics should lead CDOs toward a new bottom-up, probabilistic approach to connecting data across the organization and exploiting big data variety. Specifically, Held highlights Tamr’s data unification platform, which finds and connects siloed data into a unified view through an approach that looks more like a Google search circa 2014 than a Yahoo index crawl circa 1995.

By enabling their organizations to dynamically catalog, connect, curate ALL of their enterprise information sources, Tamr’s “next gen” unification platform helps CDOs embrace variety — and transform it from a roadblock into ROI.

To learn more about Tamr’s data unification platform, watch our video.