(Title is courtesy of Claudia Imhoff)Joe Foley
, Chief Architect, and Kirsten Chapman
, VP Marketing, of i-lluminate Solutions
presented their company background, product offerings and and strategy directions. They are positioning their technology as a value-based architecture in contrast with row-based or column-based one.
Their focus is "ad hoc analysis," which Joe defined as the discovery of information for a business requirement that is rapid, flexible, and effective. Joe pointed out that 'ad hoc' really means 'for the particular end or case at hand without consideration of wider application
' (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary),
which was a surprise to me. My prior was that 'ad hoc' implied random, undefined, unexpected and so on. As an IT profession, we have so distorted the original definition. Over the last several decades, we have shifted perspectives from a business user (done for a specific purpose) to an technical one (tough to implement).
A major marketing point is that i-lluminate enables a lower time-to-value by rapidly delivering data to a business user for a specific business need. The figure show the timelines for a traditional data warehouse development cycle (bottom) as compared to the i-lluminate development cycle (top). I question their claims that there is no need for data modeling and user requirements, but I am intrigued by their technology that works bottom-up and delivers quick business value.
My opinion is that i-lluminate's product set (iLuminate, iProfile, iAnalysis) fits into two niches. First, it can be an enabler for exploratory data marts within an enterprise architecture. Second, it can be a pre-warehouse tool to quickly capitalize on business data value and to understand the important business relationships, as a first step toward a traditional data warehouse.
The best way to understand i-lluminate's solutions is to take them up on their POC Challenge
. Ship them a few hundred gigabytes from several sources, and see what you get. Do you see business insights that you did not know? Do you see data gliches that cause you some pain? Do you see new potential queries that would aid your business users? If you ask positively, then investigate this vendor further.
For a limited time and for NO CHARGE (except for your staff time), they are offering ten large-scale POC trials for enterprise-level data warehouses. If you engage in either offer from i-lluminate, please email me or comment on this blog item about your experiences.