Data Warehouse Automation (DWA) is an interesting concept, a burgeoning category, and an important tool for all businesses but it suffers from just one problem: it’s hard for anyone outside the experts to know what the heck the term really means. We know what the words mean individually but when put together and then laced with technical jargon and talk of “ETL” and "OLAP Cubes", many people on the business side of the house get rightly confused. Oh and one more thing--- confusion often leads to neglect and omission, a fate the industry can ill afford.
For those of us in the world of technology marketing, terms like this can be powerful if we have the skill to tell resonant stories about them. If we can’t, then we simply end up repeating the “same old, same old” which makes DWA and all other technology categories merge into one, useless blob of jargon.
So let’s break DWA down to its essence, bare it to its most basic.
Part one: Data
We all know what “data” is- its information that, when massaged, packaged, and understood can lead to intelligence, even wisdom. By itself, data is not particularly useful to a business but when combined with other data and with an analysis of the market, data can be liberating. So when we “warehouse” it, we in effect combine it with other data, or at the least put in next to other pieces of data that might help illuminate it and make it useful.
Part two: Warehouse Automation
Well the warehouse gets really big and hard to navigate given the sheer quantity of data that resides not only in corporate systems, but in the outside world as well. Big warehouses require too many forklifts for us to buy, so we need simple processes to “automate” this in order to be able to retrieve, package, and visualize the right pieces of data quickly and in an almost infinite number of permutations and combinations. Thus is born DWA.
Though this appears so simplistic as to be farcical, it points to a larger truth- that much of what we do in technology, no matter how complex, esoteric, and seemingly unattainable, has to be easily understood not only by aficionados but by those who benefit from it as well.
I’m drawn to TimeXtender for this reason exactly- it’s a company built on a proposition that is eminently understandable and is clearly important, especially in a world in which perhaps the only real “truth” is that data is exploding and making sense of it is the factor that leads to success.
About the Author:
Romi Mahajan is founder of KKM Group, a boutique marketing and strategy advisory firm. His career is a storied one, including spending 9 years at Microsoft and being the first CMO of Ascentium, an award-winning digital agency. Romi is an advisor and board member to over 30 companies worldwide.