Monday, October 31, 2011

Evolution of Data/Information

Data (or information) is at the heart of most business organizations today. An effective management and utilization of data often sets one company apart from another irrespective of corporate specialization or expertise. Organizations constantly collect, share, and analyze data in many ways in order to improve business operations. Naturally, many companies are investing a great deal on efficient data management strategies. However, data has evolved significantly. Not long ago, collecting terabytes of data seemed a big deal. Now a days, we fill up terabytes of data spaces in a hurry.

Organizations are also starting to utilize data in many different formats. It's no longer presented to us solely in a decomposed format, arranged in manageable data types and fields. Important information can be embedded inside emails, documents, scanned images, external web sites etc. It's definitely not a new concept of utilizing emails, documents, scanned images and external web sites inside the systems we design. However, we often tend to view and categorize these information differently than the ones stored in database management systems. As a result, we start developing one strategy for database management systems, and one or more for the rest.

As utilization of business information evolves, should we start adopting a common strategy regardless of type of the information we deal with? What is the implication for storage infrastructure and application architecture if we take a holistic approach? Maybe, it's simply not possible to group them all...

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