The end of the hourglass
The promise of data delivered at the speed of thought has been voiced by many software vendors in the past. However, the fact is the industry still hasn’t delivered data analytics that would completely eliminate the time delay (as represented by the ‘hourglass’ which often appears on Windows based machines) between data queries and output and allow businesses to base their decision-making on real-time data.
Optimisation of business based on real-time data will have an immense impact on overall business performance. There will be no need or, effectively, place for long-term business plans as companies will be able to adjust its operations and interactions with customers and partners instantly, responding to their needs as they appear based on the next generation of data analytics. This of course leads to an immediate impact on the bottom line, with large companies becoming much more nimble and sensitive to the trends in their environments. For example, a financial services organisation can make investment or business decisions based on huge data sets without the traditional time-lag associated with large-scale analytics, giving them competitive edge. An e-commerce company can cut the time of business intelligence engagements with its customers whilst IT service providers can lower their costs with a better performing analytics.
Moore's Law claims that transistor density on integrated circuits doubles about every two years. This means that the ever-increasing capabilities of the hardware lower the costs of processing and storage and in turn enable the development of powerful software. We have seen tremendous developments in hardware over the past few years. However, software has not been keeping up with this rapid pace of development. Even more, businesses are struggling to keep pace with the explosive growth of data or the powerful capabilities of modern chips.
One of the solutions to this issue has proved to be data processing at the chip level which unlocks the raw power of today's chip technology. Ingres has been developing such technology with CWI Institute in Amsterdam for a couple of years now and in June 2010 we finally announced the general availability of Ingres VectorWise. Intel has been a key partner in bringing Ingres VectorWise Analytic Database technology to market and was an active participant in the project announcement in July 2009. Ingres VectorWise extends Moore's Law to business applications for the first time. For businesses this provides the ability to manipulate huge amounts of data and increased speed, even on the move, effectively giving the ability to process complex business queries at the speed of thought.
Our VectorWise beta customers report that answers to business queries that previously took several minutes are now available in seconds whilst partners report the amount of time that big analytical or business intelligence projects usually take are being cut in half. Most of all, we are very pleased to hear from customers how Ingres VectorWise has helped them remove former data analysis obstacles and accelerate business decisions.
Ingres VectorWise also gives rise to other important business benefits such as greater performance with small servers and radical reductions in disk storage, which significantly lowers power and air conditioning requirements, and the carbon footprint of a company.
The Ingres VectorWise could well mean the end of the hourglass. It certainly represents a very important step towards decision-making based on real-time data and in turn enables companies to always have access to up-to-date information about customers, partners and market trends. Does it also mean the end of the long-term business plan? I think so. The new fast analytics will change the way business-making is done, enabling companies to be more responsive and flexible as well as make informed decisions faster than ever before.