Recently I was asked what I expected in the database management space for the rest of the decade. My immediate reaction was to correct the question: Where we’re going – for those who aren’t there yet – is about managing data effectively. Databases will be included in the mix of tools used to accomplish the right things, but the conversation will shift to results.

It is a natural – if not inevitable – consequence that every company gets into the business of building what economists call “stocks” (your arsenal of data at rest) and enabling “flows of data” that trigger intelligent action in real time (you think to retrieve data where it needs to be most important at the moment). For technical practitioners, careers will be less “tool-centric” – as an “Oracle DBA”, for example – and more about building a track record as part of teams that creatively use an ecosystem to increase business impact.

It’s already a tried and true pattern. The tech team at leading media company Conde Nast carefully designed an intelligent content platform that increased click-through rates by 30%; They put together a stack of Apache Cassandra, Kafka, and Elasticsearch (among other technologies) to make this possible. And to emphasize the aspect of creativity, they concluded that Cassandra is ideal as a feature store rather than a traditional database use case.

The skills that leaders like Conde Nast have developed bring the best of technology to life and are well established enough to be seen in survey data. In our State of the Data Race 2021 report, based on responses from more than 500 organizations, we found that today’s data leaders are four times more likely to have used Apache Cassandra, Kubernetes, and two of the following open source technologies: Apache Spark, Apache Pulsar, Apache Kafka or Elasticsearch. Organizations using a robust open source software (OSS) data stack are twice as likely to attribute more than 20% of their revenue to data and analytics.

In the meantime, the open source data ecosystem to which these technologies belong is evolving, with Apache Pulsar, Arrow and Flink, for example, expanding the horizons of the possible.

As a CIO, making sure your employees have the permission and the time to build bridges between the ways industry owners might use data in new ways and the new ways of using data that this ecosystem enables, would be wise . .

From the supplier’s point of view, the message is clear and simple: We have to enable as many of your employees as possible to productively address the use cases that are crucial for your company – without an infinite number of tools. Analyst house Redmonk has an overview of how this manifests itself in database companies that are evolving into broader “data companies”.

On their list is my employer DataStax, who in addition to Cassandra also offers streaming functions with Pulsar. I would also add the thoughtful development work from our teams to implement a document API before Cassandra. When companies like ours work “outside-in” to adapt to market needs, along with companies that work “inside-out” to find ways in which horizontal infrastructures can be used to enhance their customers’ experience change, then innovation always wins.

And you can look forward to that in the area of ​​data management.

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