From smartphone applications that put the world’s information at our fingertips, to fitness bands that track our health, to drones that let farmers monitor hundreds of acres of fields, information technology is automating and accelerating every facet of our lives.

All this is fueled by data. Data is no longer a by-product of business—it is becoming the business. The networked world is no longer about the pathways connecting computers. It’s about the data flowing across the network.

But today, the potential of that data is limited by yesterday’s approaches to handling it—approaches that can’t keep up with the growth of applications, information consumers, and smart devices. Informatica envisions a platform that will deliver data that can organize itself and provide intelligent guidance on how it’s used. This platform will be the cornerstone for data-fueled applications and devices, delivering the right data in the right way to the right users, while at the same time assuring the data is effectively protected and governed throughout its lifecycle.

This is our vision for the “intelligent data platform,” a next-generation technology that will let us all move confidently into a data-fueled universe. By providing a “data highway” that connects all people, places, and things in an increasingly data-centric world, the intelligent data platform will unleash the potential of information for every individual, every process, and every organization.

An Intelligent Data Platform

Intelligent Data Platform

Three elements of an intelligent data platform: The data intelligence layer should deliver self-service data for business users; its data infrastructure layer should consistently deliver clean, safe and connected data; and it should be powered by a data engine, like Informatica Vibe™, to access, aggregate, and manage any data.

Requirements for an intelligent data platform

As mentioned, an intelligent data platform should guide the right data, to the right place, person, or thing, in the right way. But it should also:

  • Unleash business potential by harnessing all data owned, generated, processed, or stored by an organization
  • Speedily allow non-technical business users to integrate, consume, and analyze all types of data
  • Enable organizations to master relationships between data across multiple systems
  • Provide a universally consistent way for new applications, devices, and users to consume data
  • Be built on existing infrastructure, so you don’t have to rip and replace

In order to support today’s hybrid world, an intelligent data platform should be delivered both on-premise and in the cloud, and should scale from serving individual users, to empowering departmental workgroups, to supporting the entire enterprise.

Three elements of the intelligent data platform

A comprehensive, intelligent data platform must include three main components:

  • A virtual data machine: The platform requires an embeddable data management engine that can access, aggregate, and manage any type of data. For example, Informatica’s Vibe™ gives developers the power to map data once and deploy it anywhere—in any application and on any appliance or device—regardless of the data’s format or whether it resides on-premise or in the cloud. It is the power that will enable the intelligent data platform to harness the growing diversity of data sources, types, and technologies.
  • Data infrastructure: A data infrastructure layer should systematically and continuously deliver clean, safe, and connected data.
  • Data intelligence: A data intelligence layer should systematically collect the metadata, semantic data, and usage information from across the platform and automatically organize these to enable data consumers to easily find and navigate available data and business rules. It should extensively analyze the metadata for patterns to make inferences and recommendations, guiding users to create and shape their own data for use in their tools, applications, or devices of choice.

Three innovative use cases

We’re realizing the intelligent data platform vision today by developing a combination of existing Informatica platform capabilities and new product initiatives, some of which are in early beta testing. Expect our packaged offerings and reference architectures to be generally available as 2014 nears its end. There are three current product initiatives that illustrate the power of our vision for the intelligent data platform:

  • Self-service data (code-named “Springbok”): Leveraging the intelligent data platform’s data intelligence layer, this component will enable your business users to find and use data without weeks or months of iterating with IT.  And it’ll allow IT to feel confident that data is clean, safe, and connected.
  • Data-centric security (code-named “Secure@Source): This application built on the intelligent data platform to complement your existing data and network security mechanisms. It will discover all instances of sensitive data, visualize the risk, and map the common source of proliferation so data can be secured at its source and throughout its lifecycle.
  • Managed data lake: Data analysts spend considerable time manually finding and preparing data. This part of our intelligent data platform will provide a persistent layer to collect, discover, refine, govern, and share data securely throughout its entire lifecycle.

Find out more detail about these three initiatives by reading “Intelligent Data Platform in Action.”