While unstructured data types and new database management systems play an increasing role in the modern data ecosystem, structured data in relational database management systems (RDBMS) remains the foundation of the information infrastructure in most companies.
Although advancements in the ability to capture, store, retrieve and analyse new forms of unstructured data have garnered significant attention, new Dell Software survey findings indicate that most organisations continue to focus primarily on managing structured data, and will do so for the foreseeable future.
In Commissioning Unisphere Research, to conduct a survey of database administrators (DBAs) and others charged with managing corporate data, Dell reports that while management of unstructured data will likely become more prevalent as advanced analytics initiatives continue to gain traction, structured data still makes up 75 percent of data under management for more than two-thirds of organisations, with nearly one-third of organisations not yet actively managing unstructured data at all.
While there has been widespread industry interest in capturing and managing unstructured and semi-structured data, Dell’s survey results show that structured data and traditional RDBMS systems remain the focal point of most organisations’ information management efforts.
Though the survey reveals a relative diversity of database platforms in use across organisations, Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server remain the most common platforms organisations use to support mission-critical data.
According to the survey, approximately 78 percent of respondents indicated that they were running mission-critical data on Oracle, while 72 percent said they were using Microsoft SQL Server as a platform for their mission-critical data.
Beyond the top two, MySQL, IBM DB2, and MongoDB represented the next most popular database management systems.
Moreover, although the growth of unstructured data has garnered most of the attention, Dell’s survey shows structured data growing at an even faster rate.
While more than one-third of respondents indicated that structured data is growing at a rate of 25 percent or more annually, fewer than 30 percent of respondents said the same about their unstructured data.
“Dell’s survey shows once again that successful information management is not just about managing big data or small data, but about managing all data – regardless of its size, type or location,” says John Whittaker, executive director of product marketing, information management, Dell Software.
“While big data and related technologies have garnered most of the hype, traditional structured data and RDBMS technologies continue to play an integral role in the data management strategies of organisations large and small.
“As such, organisations that break down silos and focus on managing, integrating and analysing all of their data will be the ones best positioned to benefit from the opportunity afforded by the modern data economy.”
Additional findings show that 83 percent of organisations cite growth in transactional data (including e-commerce) as one of the most important sources of structured data growth within their organisation, with 51 percent also citing growth in management data, such as ERP systems.
Although there is an increasing industry focus on the proliferation of social data, Whittaker cites an increase in the creation of internally generated documents was seen as the top driver of unstructured data growth, identified by more than 50 percent of respondents.