Joe Caserta sat down with Joyce Wells from Database Trends and Applications to discuss the current state of data integration and his predictions for the future of data-driven organizations.
Below is an excerpt from the interview.
Today, data is critical to every organization and every department within every organization. Yet, all the disparate systems for handling it are creating new challenges. Joe Caserta, founder and president of Caserta, a technology consulting and implementation firm focused on data and analytics strategies and solutions recently discussed the current state of data integration and what is needed to overcome today’s data integration problems.
DBTA: Data integration has been a vexing problem for analytics for a long time. Has it gotten any easier with the advent of big data and more technology choices, or is it actually more difficult?
Joe Caserta: It’s more challenging. It’s much more challenging.
DBTA: How so?
JC: The big data paradigm solved several problems and it created several. Before “big data,” most data came from internal business applications and the data was “known.” And, even then, there were data issues and transformations that were needed in order to analyze the data holistically—but it wasn’t splitting atoms. I wrote a book 15 years ago on best practices called the Data Warehouse ETL Toolkit, and, for the most part, the problem was solved. What’s happening today is that, with most of the data, companies have no control. It’s coming from outside sources—either they are buying it, or it’s on the cloud from different applications that an organization can’t control, and integrating those different data points is incredibly complicated.
DBTA: What else?
JC: Since data has become the backbone of every organization—and every department has its own system—it’s not uncommon for the average organization, and not even a super-huge organization, to have several hundred different data sources spanning marketing, finance, products, inventory, and HR. Each department has several systems that they use to run their business. So now, when you want to take all of those systems and integrate them, it’s difficult.