I’ve talked with a whole lot of vendors recently, some here at TDWI, as well as users, fellow analysts, and so on. Repeated themes include:
- Large enterprise data warehouse projects are often being deferred or cut back. (My sense is that a little of this happened in 2008, but more is happening with new budget cycles in 2009.)
- Smaller projects with credible, quick ROIs are doing fine. In some cases, these are the scaled-back or nose-under-the-tent parts of bigger enterprise-wide efforts.
- Perhaps not coincidentally, the technical trend of having a variety of data marts inside an EDW – sometimes called “sandboxes” — is going strong. I’ve commented on that before in connection with Microsoft. It’s also at the heart of eBay’s Teradata-based “analytics-as-a-service” strategy.
- Uses of data warehousing for security or compliance still seem strong. I guess “Keep us safe (and out of jail)” is still a strong motivator for buying.
- Oracle’s is the #1 installed base in which smaller vendors go fishing. Teradata’s is probably #2. Microsoft SQL Server and MySQL are also suffering data warehouse competitive replacements.
- I haven’t heard many more examples of enterprises doing more analysis because the bad economy has invalidated their prior models and assumptions. More’s the pity.
- Projects to provide data to one’s customers are going gangbusters. There are many flavors of this, from pure third-party analytics vendors to (for example) credit card companies who sell transactional data back to their merchants to governments that become more “transparent” by exposing information to their citizens.
Obviously, if the economy is bad enough, everything will be hurt. E.g., a lot of those data sellers have something to do with advertising, and the underlying business sector is in the tank. Ditto consumer or mass B-to-B marketing as well. But for now, the worst hits are being suffered by projects with large price tags, long lead times, and unclear benefits.