The Three States of Data (VIDEO)

Video produced by Steve Nathans-Kelly

In a presentation at Data Summit, titled "Designing a Data Architecture for Modern Business Intelligence & Analytics," Athena IT Solutions managing partner Richard Sherman covered what everyone needs to know regarding structured, unstructured, and semi-structured data, hybrid integration and data engineering, as well as different analytical use cases.

There are three major categories of states of data, said Sherman. "The first one is data as-is. That's where people are looking at the SAPs, the Salesforces, they're looking at Marketo, Eloqua. They're looking at whatever storage systems they have, and they're pulling the data out. They know what the data domain is and they can get operational information, real-time information. Whatever information they want they can get directly from those. That data is great. The good news is, as opposed to when I first started this, before I had gray hair, each of those apps had their own specialized tools to get to it. Now you can use the BI and data integration tools from almost any vendor in order to get those tools."

The second area is the domain of data warehousing, data hubs, master data management, customer data integration, and that's where you need to put a lot of time in today for quality, data cleansing, consistency, etc., he said. And then you have a huge block of data, which is curated data.

DBTA’s next Data Summit conference will be held May 19-20, 2020, in Boston, with pre-conference workshops on Monday, May 18.

"Now in the past, curated data was always either IT, or it was those spreadmarts. But now with the emergence of different tools, which we'll talk about later, and you'll see in other presentations—data prep tools, data discovery tools, and other tools out there—that can be accomplished by data analysts and business analysts and others not in IT. So it can be a mix of people that can actually perform that. And the recommendation is really to actually change who does what in your organization."

Many presenters have made their slide decks available on the Data Summit 2019 website at

To access Sherman's full presentation, "Designing a Data Architecture for Modern Business Intelligence & Analytics," go to