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Rethinking Data, TDWI Executive Summit talk

This is a short talk about our conception of what data is, why and how that conception is too narrow for the future of business intelligence, and where we can pick up some new (and old) ideas about gathering, processing and managing information.

I'll have a full transcript of the talk up in the next day or two: stay tuned.

This talk was given at the February 2009 TDWI executive summit in Las Vegas.

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Rethinking Data, TDWI Executive Summit talk

  1. 1. Offline is the New Online
  2. 2. Leveraging Open Source Rethinking Data Across Business Intelligence Your Organization TDWI Executive Summit, February 2009 Mark R. Madsen Mark R. Madsen – February 2009
  3. 3. Boundaries
  4. 4. Information is a thing.
  5. 5. It can be organized.
  6. 6. So it can be stored.
  7. 7. Our ideas about information are outdated.
  8. 8. Information is a thing - with many forms.
  9. 9. Information can be organized in many ways, simultaneously.
  10. 10. It can be discovered in many ways.
  11. 11. If Pepys diaries can be digital, anything can
  12. 12. Words are data. Locations are data. Time is data. This is not a web site. It’s a database.
  13. 13. We need to process the text into new forms and models. Manual labor (as via tagging and taxonomies) won’t do the job.
  14. 14. Current techniques for modeling and managing data are too rigid and incapable of describing all the possible relationships. We need smarter data.
  15. 15. Data is a platform
  16. 16. To accomplish this we need new ways …of organizing and linking Page 18
  17. 17. To accomplish this we need new ways …of organizing and linking …of capturing and annotating Page 19
  18. 18. To accomplish this we need new ways …of organizing and linking …of capturing and annotating …of accessing and delivering
  19. 19. Bridge the data warehouse to other uses: SOA, not SQL Page 21
  20. 20. “We still have our eyes fixed on the rearview mirror  looking firmly and squarely at the job that is  receding into the nineteenth‐century past. The job  that we feel we should have by rights belongs to  the old mechanical technology of classified data  and fragmented tasks. Yet we now surrounded by  a new environment, of integrated tasks, integrated  knowledge, and it demands pattern recognition.” Marshall McLuhan, 1967
  21. 21. Creative Commons Thanks to the people who made their images available via creative commons: book of hours manuscript2.jpg - card catalog4.jpg - royal library san lorenzo.jpg - outdated gumshoe.jpg - book of hours manuscript1.jpg - semantic network visualization.jpg - subway dc metro.jpg - Gare do Oriente Lisbon airport.jpg - Slide 23 June 2008 Mark Madsen
  22. 22. Creative Commons This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 543 Howard Street, 5th Floor, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA. Slide 24 June 2008 Mark Madsen