SearchDataManagement News Editor Jack Vaughan recently attended the Information Builders Summit 2013 User Conference in Orlando, Fla., as well as Red Hat Summit 2013 in Boston and GraphConnect Boston in Cambridge, Mass. In this podcast, Vaughan speaks about the events with Mark Brunelli, news director for TechTarget's Business Applications and Architecture Media Group. The conversation ranges from 4GLs and graph databases to POSIX-compatible Hadoop configurations and the emerging domain of the "data artist."
The editors discuss the enterprise-reporting roots of software vendor Information Builders Inc. (IBI) and the journey it has taken toward self-service business intelligence (BI). Ease of use for the business side is a big driver for self-service BI and reporting, as is ease of development for the programmer side of the house. This latter drive is particularly acute in midsized companies, the likes of which were very evident at the IBI user conference.
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Also discussed is the graph database, a type of NoSQL data store optimized for mapping relationships between data elements. It was the central topic at the GraphConnect event, which was sponsored by graph database maker Neo Technology Inc. Early use cases for these highly associative data architectures include network and data center mapping. Still, the poster child for the technology may be Facebook, which uses a homegrown graph database to help Facebook friends connect with one another.
In addition, Vaughan explains how Red Hat has "moved up the stack" from its roots in Linux and now offers a full set of middleware. Next stop for Red Hat may be Hadoop, perhaps the biggest open source phenomenon to come along since Linux itself.
The podcast closes with a review of some "outside the box" data visualizations seen at the Information Builders conference and comments on the emerging role of the data artist, which, in some circles, is arising as something of a counterpoint to the role of the data scientist. The data artist viewpoint was on display in Orlando in the form of Jer Thorp, a New York-based artist, educator and data-engagement entrepreneur who said new ways of visualizing data are needed to help people better understand the flood of information they're being confronted with in both their professional and personal lives.