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After living and breathing the world of analytics and data for 20 years, I can let you in on a little secret of how successful customers achieve business value — It does not come from the tool, but from the data.  It’s about the data.  It always has been. Maybe the reason many organizations don’t start with the data is frankly, data is the hardest part. The data is distributed, on-premise, in the cloud, messy, unwieldy and never stops pouring in. […]

It’s been over five years since Pentaho’s CTO, James Dixon coined the now-ubiquitous term data lake in his blog. His metaphor contrasted bottled water which is cleansed and packaged for easy consumption with the natural state of the water source – unstructured, uncleansed, and un-adulterated. The data lake represents the entire universe of available data before any transformation has been applied to it. Data isn’t compromised by giving it undue context in order to fit it into existing structures, which could potentially compromise its utility […]