Lie #1 — A single source of truth

Datanova 2023: The data lies (and truths)

Last Updated: July 28, 2023

Technology vendors have long peddled a version of nirvana where all of a company’s data would be centralized in one location. 

The “single source of truth” would serve as some all-powerful information center. By bringing in data from potentially tens of thousands of applications into a unified dumping ground, customers would now begin to understand the inner workings of their business like never before. 

It’s proven to be a highly lucrative marketing tactic. Snowflake, SAP, Teradata, Oracle, and many others have built their businesses on the ability to sell CIOs on the promise land of a single data repository to rule them all. 

The only problem? It’s all a lie.

From mainframes, to client-server, to the cloud, companies have always struggled to build and maintain the elusive “single source of truth.”  

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been wasted just for organizations to find themselves in the same position as before. Data is everywhere, engineers are spending their valuable time just moving it around, and analysts and data scientists are twiddling their thumbs waiting. 

That’s only getting worse as the amount of information businesses are gathering explodes. It’s why many are struggling to even justify the investment necessary in maintaining a centralized data strategy.  

The reality is a “single source of truth” doesn’t make sense for modern businesses.  

Companies want to be able to do more than just query stale datasets. They want to take incoming data and put it to use immediately to better understand customers, predict where demand will come from, or figure out how to gain more efficiency from their existing operations. 

That becomes simply impossible if a business must first try to centralize all that information. Once the data finally makes its way to some monolithic warehouse, it’s already old. While that sort of system may be great for knowing yesterday’s sales total, it is not one that will help figure out how to grow sales even higher tomorrow. 

Meanwhile, the need to comply with an increasing number of data privacy laws is forcing CIOs to ask a very important question: Why not just keep the information where it resides?  

We built Starburst so businesses don’t have to care where their data is stored.

The platform provides a single point of entry to data, which means it is just as secure as a centralized storage center. 

But the ability to query the information where it sits means it can scale quickly and easily across the organization. And complying with data privacy or sovereignty requirements becomes much simpler because you can keep the data at the point of origination.  

Most importantly, companies can access their data quickly. With Starburst, analysts aren’t waiting around to do their jobs and engineers are able to refocus their time on more important tasks.

Don’t believe the lies anymore. And don’t let legacy vendors keep you tethered to an architecture that’s never made sense for customers. Free your engineers. Free your analysts. And free the iron grip that’s holding your business back from becoming a modern enterprise. 

If you’re a data rebel, watch now.

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