Is Data Virtualization about to take its place alongside Big Data, Unstructured Data, and other concepts that have been shaping the world of business intelligence (BI). According to at least one industry observer, data virtualization is indeed a coming thing. But to fully grasp the implications, it is important first to understand just what exactly data virtualization is all about, and how it has been evolving.
To begin with, as Rick van der Lans notes at B-eye Network, data virtualization is a fairly recent concept. The term was first used in 2005, though it builds on the more long-standing concept of "data federation."
The emergence of Big Data has made the challenge more challenging. In particular, unstructured data – from social media messages to sensor readings – is of growing importance. It does not fit the classic series-of-records model of relational databases, or the familiar SQL query language for getting information from them.
Hence the rise of data virtualization, which seeks to make all enterprise data available to end users as though it came from one big database.
According to one study from The Data Warehousing Institute (TWDI), 19 percent of organizations have already implemented data virtualization, while another 31 percent have plans to do so. A Forrester study last year projected that data virtualization will be an $8 billion industry by 2014.
Currently the most widespread use of data virtualization, says a study by Wayne Eckerson of TechTarget, is to "augment the data warehouse."
But in the long run the great driver of data virtualization will be the rise of self-service BI tools designed to empower business users who are not database specialists. Let GRT Corporation support your organization in choosing data virtualization resources that will work for business decision makers.