Data mining apps eclipse data storage

Feeling stagnated? Not the hot-new thing you once were? Welcome to your data warehouse years.

The data warehouse appears to have hit a plateau – there are no longer a lot of changes being made to databases or warehouses themselves. Instead, the changes come with what organizations are doing with the data they house.

Rick Macos, vice-president of Teradata Canada in Mississauga, Ont., said the top priority for people right now is finding applications that use the data.

“They are looking for relationship information, or product value. They are interested in modules that leverage enterprise-wide data,” Macos said.

According to recent figures from Gartner Inc., NCR’s Teradata remains in a leadership position for the third year running. “About half the databases in the world run on a Teradata warehouse,” he said.

Rob Armstrong, co-author of the book, Secrets of the Best Data Warehouses in the World, said the data warehouse itself has changed very little recently,adding that vendors have not had much reason to change their products. However as the applications that will run on top of the data evolve, Armstrong said data will have to be consolidated.

Some Teradata customers are looking at data warehouses in a more real-time manner, according to Macos. “They want the data to go into the warehouse and then right into the systems for user use.”

He added there is also a trend toward more privacy enabled data warehouses. IT administrators are not only managing the information centrally, they are securing it as well, Macos said.

In Canada the leading data warehouse customers are in the financial industry, or those with national business, Macos said. “I find in any market there are certain customers who lead and certain ones who follow. Here leaders would be the HBCs and Royal Banks.”

Canada’s stable telco networks compared to other countries, as well as the country’s advanced banking and payment system, are the factors behind that, he added.

“That results in more data for those companies. It’s just our nature, our history, our geography. Companies have to work across all the time zones,” Macos said.

Warren Shiau, a research analyst at Toronto-based IDC Canada Ltd., said Canada is still concentrated in a few areas, unlike the U.S. which is more diverse.

“Here you would have financial services comprising the largest part, then government – which I think the U.S. in percentage could be close to our numbers in terms of data warehousing,” Shiau said.

He noted the transportation industry is one area where Canada’s data warehousing is not as strong as it could be.

Macos said that there are some Canadian industries he would like to see a better presence in such as transportation and national accounts.

Shiau also pointed to the retail sector as an area for improvement.

However he said in Canada our economic make-up tends not to be conducive to rapid adoption. “Industries that typically adopt quickly are consumer driven and we have more companies that are suppliers.” Shiau added this mentality is true for tech in Canada virtually across the board.