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Top 5 Data Integration Posts of 2011

The end of the year is around the corner and with that comes the urge to reflect on the events that helped define the past 12 months as well as the temptation to anticipate what’s ahead of us. However, as well-known American author and journalist Hal Borland once put it, “Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.”

With the spirit of this quote in mind, I would like to share the most popular data integration posts of the year on the Syncsort blog as measured by the number of views.

#5 – Friend or Foe: A Tale of Big Data and Data Integration

In 2011, we were surprised to learn that many organizations view data integration tools as a major obstacle to achieving strategic business objectives. It seems that many data integration tools have become a foe for IT organizations needing faster, more efficient and cost-effective ETL. As we enter 2012, I expect Big Data, mobile computing and social media to continue driving the need for faster performance and greater scalability. This will push organizations to redefine their strategies and seek new data integration approaches.

#4 – Big Data…Bigger Opportunities

This post was a personal favorite because it presents a very clear picture of how an extremely innovative company like comScore has built and defined a market as well as delivered considerable value to its customers using Big Data. Not only has comScore’s story fascinated fellow Syncsort customers, but also industry analysts and journalists. In 2011, comScore Chief Technology Officer Michael Brown was featured regularly in articles in outlets such as TechTarget and InformationWeek.

At Syncsort, are proud to have customers like comScore that are true innovators and thought leaders. In fact, my 2012 New Year’s resolution for this blog includes bringing more stories like comScore’s to the table. It is always valuable to learn from the experts that are actually using our solutions every single day!

#3 – Our Plans to Help Make Hadoop Better

This past year there was a tremendous amount of interest in Hadoop as a means to process massive amounts of data at a significantly lower cost. In fact, Syncsort’s announcement and pledge to make Hadoop easier, faster and more efficient garnered more attention than we could have imagined.

I’m proud to report that our participation in the Hadoop community continues to be strong and our DMExpress Hadoop Edition beta program is helping customers and prospects alike to accelerate Hadoop deployments. Most recently, my colleague and fellow blogger Keith Kohl unveiled our latest contribution to the Hadoop community right here on the Syncsort blog! During 2012, we will continue working on ways to contribute and help remove barriers to wider adoption of the framework. Stay tuned.

#2 – ETL 2.0: A New Beginning

The ETL 2.0 blog post really hits at the core of our passion and mission to help organizations leverage large datasets. On a daily basis, we observe a marketplace where many data integration tools are unable to cope with the demands of Big Data. ETL 2.0 promises a new approach that accelerates performance while significantly reducing the cost and complexity of ETL. We want to help once again make data integration a friend when it comes to helping organizations achieve strategic business objectives.

I hope you can tell how much I enjoyed writing the ETL 2.0 blog post as well as participating in the creation of one of the best ETL videos I’ve ever seen (if I do say so myself!). If you haven’t had the chance to watch it yet, please do. It is less than five minutes and well worth it. The video is also something you can share with family and friends this holiday season to help them understand once and for all what it is that you actually do for a living!

#1 – ETL vs ELT: A Tale of Staging and Set Based Processing

Despite all the excitement about Big Data and Hadoop, this year’s top spot goes to a post that revisits the ongoing debate about ETL vs. ELT! Part of my goal with writing this post was to initiate a discussion about whether some of the things accepted as “best practices” need to be revisited. I wanted to question the status quo a bit and help demystify some of the realities surrounding the ETL vs. ELT debate that I don’t believe get talked about enough.

This is a conversation that I’m certain will continue in 2012 and beyond. In fact, my British colleague and friend Steven Totman is preparing something specific about Big Data and the ETL vs. ELT question. Stay tuned for that, as well.

In closing, I’d like to once again revisit Hal Borland’s idea that there is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on. While a lot of today’s buzz is around Big Data, the reality is that growing data volumes have been breaking stuff for a while. As Totman discussed in his recent post, it often seems like the only things you can count on today are “Taxes, Death and Bigger Data.” I’d like to offer up one more. You can count on Syncsort leveraging our 40+ years of experience in working with some of the largest, most complex datasets in the world to provide innovative, cost-effective solutions that address our customers’ most pressing challenges today.

As we approach 2012, I would love to hear about your data management plans and priorities (feel free to leave a comment on this post). In the meantime, happy holidays from all of us at Syncsort!

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