Ventana Research recently published the 2023 Analytic Data Platforms Value Index. As organizations strive to be more data-driven, increasing reliance on data as a fundamental factor in business decision-making, the importance of the analytic data platform has never been greater. In this post, I’ll share some of my observations about how the analytic data platforms market is evolving.
Ventana Research recently announced its 2023 Market Agenda for Data, continuing the guidance we have offered for two decades to help organizations derive optimal value and improve business outcomes.
I am happy to share insights from our latest Ventana Research Value Index, which assesses how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. The 2023 Data Platforms Value Index is the distillation of a year of market and product research by Ventana Research. Drawing on our Benchmark Research, we apply a structured methodology built on evaluation categories that reflect real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal to data platform vendors that support the spectrum of operational and analytic use cases. Using this methodology, we evaluated vendor submissions in seven categories: five relevant to the Product Experience: Adaptability, Capability, Manageability, Reliability and Usability, and two related to the Customer Experience: Total Cost of Ownership/Return on Investment and Validation.
Having recently completed the 2023 Data Platforms Value Index, I want to share some of my observations about how the market is evolving. Although this is our inaugural assessment of the market for data platforms, the sector is mature and products from many of the vendors we assess can be used to effectively support operational and analytic use cases.
The shift from on-premises server infrastructure to cloud-based and software-as-a-service (SaaS) models has had a profound impact on the data and analytics architecture of many organizations in recent years. More than one-half of participants (59%) in Ventana Research’s Analytics and Data Benchmark research are deploying data and analytics workloads in the cloud, and a further 30% plan to do so. Customer demand for cloud-based consumption models has also had a significant impact on the products and services that are available from data and analytics vendors. Data platform providers, both operational and analytic, have had to adapt to changing customer demand. The initial response — making existing products available for deployment on cloud infrastructure — only scratched the surface in terms of responding to emerging expectations. We now see the next generation of products, designed specifically to deliver innovation by taking advantage of cloud-native architecture, being brought to market both by emerging startups, and established vendors, including InterSystems.
Topics: business intelligence, Cloud Computing, Data Management, Data, natural language processing, data operations, AI & Machine Learning, Analytics & Data, analytic data platforms, Operational Data Platforms
There is always space for innovation in the data platforms sector, and new vendors continue to emerge at regular intervals with new approaches designed to serve specialist data storage and processing requirements. Factors including performance, reliability, security and scalability provide a focal point for new vendors to differentiate from established vendors, especially for the most demanding operational or analytic data platform requirements. It is never easy, however, for developers of new data platform products to gain significant market traction, given the dominance of the established relational database vendors and cloud providers. Targeting requirements that are not well-served by general purpose data platforms can help new vendors get a toe in the door of customer accounts. The challenge to gaining further market traction is for new vendors to avoid having products become pigeon-holed as only being suitable for a niche set of requirements. This is precisely the problem facing the various distributed SQL database providers.
Ventana Research’s Data Lakes Dynamics Insights research illustrates that while data lakes are fulfilling their promise of enabling organizations to economically store and process large volumes of raw data, data lake environments continue to evolve. Data lakes were initially based primarily on Apache Hadoop deployed on-premises but are now increasingly based on cloud object storage. Adopters are also shifting from data lakes based on homegrown scripts and code to open standards and open formats, and they are beginning to embrace the structured data-processing functionality that supports data lakehouse capabilities. These trends are driving the evolution of vendor product offerings and strategies, as typified by Cloudera’s recent launch of Cloudera Data Platform (CDP) One, described as a data lakehouse software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering.
Earlier this year I described the growing use-cases for hybrid data processing. Although it is anticipated that the majority of database workloads will continue to be served by specialist data platforms targeting operational and analytic workloads respectively, there is increased demand for intelligent operational applications infused with the results of analytic processes, such as personalization and artificial intelligence-driven recommendations. There are multiple data platform approaches to delivering real-time data processing and analytics, including the use of streaming data and event processing and specialist, real-time analytic data platforms. We also see operational data platform providers, such as Aerospike, adding analytic processing capabilities to support these application requirements via hybrid operational and analytic processing.
I recently explained how emerging application requirements were expanding the range of use cases for NoSQL databases, increasing adoption based on the availability of enhanced functionality. These intelligent applications require a close relationship between operational data platforms and the output of data science and machine learning projects. This ensures that machine learning and predictive analytics initiatives are not only developed and trained based on the relationships inherent in operational applications, but also that the resulting intelligence is incorporated into the operational application in real time to support capabilities such as personalization, recommendations and fraud detection. Graph databases already support operational use cases such as social media, fraud detection, customer experience management and recommendation engines. Graph database vendors such as Neo4j are increasingly focused on the role that graph databases can play in supporting data scientists, enabling them to develop, train and run algorithms and machine learning models on graph data in the graph database, rather than extracting it into a separate environment.