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5 Similarities Between March Madness and the Database World


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Many people love the NCAA’s March Madness, where 68 teams vie for the championship title. A similar situation is occurring in the database world, where innovation is spurring exciting new competition and new solutions. There aren’t 68 companies in the mix, but quite a few that are competing for the championship prize, which is a slice of the huge database market that could reach over $45B by 2018, according to Gartner.

This past March and early April, data and basketball fans have enjoyed the synergies between these two seemingly very different, yet similar events:

  1. Different Divisions Compete on the Same Floor - Traditional powerhouse teams from the Big Ten, SEC, ACC, and Pac-12 compete against smaller yet tough divisional teams from conferences like the Mid-Eastern Atlantic and West Coast conferences. Similarly, traditional relational database powerhouses like Oracle and IBM compete against small yet tough enterprise NoSQL players like MarkLogic and newer conference teams such as NoSQL players MongoDB and Couchbase.
  2. Different Types of Defenses Are Available for Different Types of Security Needs - In basketball, coaches have a number of ways to defend the basket (man-on-man, zone and combination) and tweak their defense based on the offense and goals. Relational databases typically offer solid defense as their defensive coaches have been in the league for quite a while. Enterprise NoSQL databases provide strong yet flexible defenses that can adopt to different offensive strategies with the highest levels of security and control — boxing out hackers, avoiding turnovers and getting multiple blocked shots and steals from cyber thieves.
  3. Instant Replay Helps in Basketball and Databases - Not sure if the shooter’s foot was on the three-point line? Was it charging or a blocking foul? Instant replay can often answer these questions, just like bitemporal features in databases can answer game-changing questions for businesses. By recording historical data along two different timelines, bitemporal can answer questions such as: Where did Jackson Doran live on March 1st as we knew it on September 1st?; What did you think your first quarter profit was?; Can I answer detailed auditor/regulator questions about my business 7 years ago?
  4. Built-in Search Offers Full Court Vision to Make Better Decisions - The best basketball players have excellent court vision, understanding where defenders are located and which team members are open so the player can make a good decision whether to pass, shoot or throw for an alley-oop. Databases with built-in search provide organizations with comparable and critical full court vision, identifying and gathering all necessary data enabling the best possible decisions based upon comprehensive and up-to-date information.
  5. Passing Connects Players, Semantics Connects Data - It’s a beautiful thing when a player shoots a no-look pass to a team member who then slam-dunks the ball. Semantics does the same thing in the data world: It enhances your data search by discovering and connecting like-minded terms to create a bigger and more comprehensive picture so your agile, interconnected business can make the most of market opportunities as analysts and shareholders go wild with excitement.

This past March and early April, many eyes have been on the TV or the actual basketball court, but many eyes also continue to be focused on the changing database industry. Customers who are reimagining their data are searching for the Data Dream Team that can make the assist in avoiding violations and air balls while making most efforts a 4-point play. CIOs, architects and developers choosing the right coach for their data will become the MVP within their organization, and the database winner will receive the big data trophy.


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