Is Column-based Relational Analytics a Database Cash Cow?

I spent last Thursday night getting a pre-briefing on the launch of the Sybase IQ v15 analytics server with the company’s VP of engineering Richard Pledereder, who gave me some pointers as to why this type of data manipulation ‘engine’ is proving to be such a revenue booster during the global economic slowdown.To set the scene - if you look at the world economy through a wide lens, you may be able to pinpoint a few areas where demand will always be high.

I spent last Thursday night getting a pre-briefing on the launch of the Sybase IQ v15 analytics server with the company’s VP of engineering Richard Pledereder, who gave me some pointers as to why this type of data manipulation ‘engine’ is proving to be such a revenue booster during the global economic slowdown.

To set the scene - if you look at the world economy through a wide lens, you may be able to pinpoint a few areas where demand will always be high. I would like to argue that Internet usage, mobile SMS texts, the financial services industry and defence are all perennial must-haves.

All good areas for database companies to make some cash I think.

Pledereder pointed out to me that now there is greater corporate pressure to increase risk management provisioning for data, as well as increased compliance pressure all round. He also said that column-based relational analytics has gained wider recognition as a process for managing data, especially if it is subsequently fed into business intelligence applications.

If this is a good message for developers who may be working on business intelligence apps that exist within data-centric environments where the number of transactions and the number of users is exploding, then I hope I am doing my job by talking about it.

This strain of enterprise analytics for databases (as it touches both DBAs and developers alike) is argued to be well suited to work with real-time data environments, especially inside data shops where the project manager has a particular need to be able to use the analytics to track customer preferences and adjust business processes quickly.

While the rest of you were watching Coldplay not win anything at the Brit awards, I was on the phone to Dublin (the one in California) discussing the above subject. Pledereder was obviously full of the expected corporate messages, so let’s gloss over favourites like speed, flexibility, manageability and ROI and suggest that the lower load latency for large data loads capability stands out as a newer area of interest.

The announcement of this new version of Sybase’s product today is, I was told, the biggest overhaul of the product in the last five to seven years. As I have attended the company’s TechWave developer and DBA convention once or twice over the same time period I thought it would be appropriate to mention it here.

I was at a lunch with Sybase CEO John Chen last year (OK, there were 40 other people in the room too) and he was kind of self-effacingly modest about business. “Bank on us,” he said – urging the room to think of his company as worthy competitors for Oracle and IBM. It seems like a few parties out there do.