The way we make decisions has changed. The data we use has changed. The techniques we can apply to data and decisions have changed. Yet what we build and how we build it has barely changed in 20 years.
The definition of madness is doing more of what you already do and expecting different results. The threat to the data warehouse is not from new technology that will replace the data warehouse. It is from destabilization caused by new technology as it changes the architecture, and from failure to adapt to those changes.
The technology that we use is problematic because it constrains and sometimes prevents necessary activities. We don’t need more technology and bigger machines. We need different technology that does different things. More product features from the same vendors won’t solve the problem.
The data we want to use is challenging. We can’t model and clean and maintain it fast enough. We don’t need more data modeling to solve this problem. We need less modeling and more metadata.
And lastly, a change in scale has occurred. It isn’t a simple problem of “big”. The problem with current workloads has been solved, despite the performance problems that many people still have today. Scale has many dimensions – important among them are the number of discrete sources and structures, the rate of change of individual structures, the rate of change in data use, the variety of uses and the concurrency of those uses.
In short, we need new architecture that is not focused on creating stability in data, but one that is adaptable to continuous and rapidly changing uses of data.