Analytics and LEGO®: The Composable Data Warehouse

By Adam Ronthal,

Notwithstanding the pain of stepping on LEGO® pieces in bare feet, these colorful, plastic bricks continue to provide an amazingly creative building experience for all ages.  While the pieces themselves have become much more specialized over the years the fundamental “circular interlock” interface remains standard and compatible.

So what does all of this have to do with Data Warehousing and Analytics?  And what does cloud have to do with any of it?  The term “Logical Data Warehouse” was coined back in 2009 by Mark Beyer, a Gartner Analyst[1], and various other analysts followed suit with similar ideas.  What they were all saying though, was that the idea of a monolithic EDW no longer made sense, and that in order to get a comprehensive holistic view of our business and analytic problems, we needed to use a variety of technologies ranging from traditional, structured data warehousing to Hadoop, to streaming data.

IBM embraced this concept with our Big Data Platform, now called Watson Foundations. However, it was still difficult to get all of these things working well together.  The process of deploying all of these technologies on-premises, and making them talk to one another in a seamless way still required a fair amount of capital investment, time, and elbow grease.

Enter cloud-based data warehousing and analytics.  These technologies are changing both the expectations and reality of building and assembling applications, and analytics and warehousing is very much a part of that. Earlier this year, IBM launched Bluemix, a cloud-based development platform for apps built on cloud, and for cloud, and with it, we launched the idea of the Composable Business.

IBMer Grant Thompson describes it like this:

Imagine a world where any required business and IT function is a composition of other functions, all provided and consumed as “pick and choose” cloud services—what you want, when you want it, where you want it, and you pay for what you use.[2]

Now we are bringing this same idea to a field that has traditionally required six figure capital expenditures, long project lead times, and significant human capital expertise — data warehousing.

Consider the Composable Data Warehouse – pick and choose your analytic services, and pay for what you need!  IBM is launching exactly this with several key services:

  • Data Refinery – Self-service, cloud-based data integration to prepare, refine, and secure data. Think of it as super powerful ETL and more in the cloud!
  • Project Dynamite – Our new data warehousing and analytics service in the cloud with industry leading in-memory performance and powerful in-database analytics.
  • Watson Analytics – Our new cloud-based predictive and cognitive analytics discovery platform makes advanced analytics accessible to all.

Think of these services as the LEGO® blocks for advanced analytics — they all fit together with standard interfaces and provide a simplified experience.

The biggest difference?  Our Composable Data Warehouse doesn’t hurt when you step on it!

For more information on Project Dynamite:

Watch this space for updates and announcements!

About Adam,

Adam Ronthal has worked in the technology industry for 20 years in technical operations, system administration, and data warehousing and analytics. In 2006, Adam joined Netezza as a Technical Account Manager, working with some of IBM Netezza’s largest data warehousing and analytic customers and helping them architect and implement their Netezza-based solutions. Today, Adam works in technical marketing for the IBM’s big data, cloud, and appliance offerings. Adam is an IBM Certified Specialist for Netezza, and holds a BA from Yale University.

Please note:  LEGO®is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this site.


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