Sorting through the chaos in the consumption layer.
Could we really consider all of these consumption modes described here as different data IDEs? They are really just different interfaces to the data, and different tools give you slightly different angles. But where the convergence will actually take place is at the next step: how it's delivered to its audience.
That seems like the place where no one is even fighting yet, because we just assume it's going to end up in Google Docs or Slides or Slack or Confluence or some other static place. And I think it's much bigger than just data, it's about the forum where organizations communicate and strategize.
Tnx, as always, for the great article. It definitely resonates. Re the comment on "Helping people use data effectively is the hard problem", I think that in many cases you can abstract it one additional step; people don't know what questions to ask. Why is this relevant, because when people do see data they try and rationalize it based on their modus operandi (e.g. one healthcare provider we work with said that they almost never change patient orders, but once their were confronted with the data the line changed to oh, those are meaningless or common changes). Don't rock the KPIs or to paraphrase another famous TLA, NIH (Not Ingested Here)...
Nicely put, as always
Thank you for another great article! With the flourish of so many categories, perhaps the future toolkit will just be an assorted mess?
Love your kitchen analogy. I grew up in a Chinese household, where the kitchen was small and primarily consisted of chopsticks, woks, and 5 sauces. But now, the kitchen has to handle Chinese cooking, as well as Italian pasta, French pastries, and English toast. So the stringer, oven, and toaster are here to stay. But in this open world, everyone consumes at least a few cuisines as well some exploratory fusion, and the diversity of tools in the kitchen will keep growing. No two kitchens look the same.
That means the market will keep expanding (great!). But it also implies that no cook will be good at using all the tools (challenging...).
> we’ll never have a standard API into people’s heads.
This tickled neurons from an article I read a few months back https://unchartedterritories.tomaspueyo.com/p/the-tree-of-knowledge
Great post, Benn. I'm in the camp that you need to support the tools that users already know and love. In my experience, I haven't been successful in forcing users to change their habits. We want as many people using data to make decisions as possible and that means supporting as many tools as possible. This means supporting a variety of inbound query languages and protocols (SQL, Python, XMLA, REST) into a common semantic (or metric) layer. It's not easy but it works brilliantly if done right.