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Informatica is all-in on artificial intelligence (AI) as the key technology that will help tame a fast growing, heterogenous, and, frankly, disobedient data landscape. The vendor's take on this new reality of data, what it calls Data 3.0, highlights the need for new AI-powered solutions to help tackle the challenge.

We know AI needs data, but data needs AI too

Ahead of Informatica's annual user conference, Informatica World, Ovum received a prebriefing on impending key announcements. Of particular interest is Informatica's take on the ever-expanding world of data, what it calls Data 3.0. Data 3.0 represents the epic scale on which data is created today, primarily a result of a surge in connected devices in the Internet of Things, new data types including voice, and the billions who interact over the internet daily. It also highlights the parallel expansion of users of data. Ovum's recent research on the data-driven enterprise underscores this point, documenting the rise of the data and analytics consumer. The data landscape was plenty complex enough, but it's only getting more so. The answer? According to Informatica, it is AI, in the form of automation and recommendations, that doesn't just deliver the essentials of data management (e.g., cataloging, sourcing, integration, cleansing, preparing, and so on) but also enables security and governance across a complex landscape too great for humans to manage. This aligns closely with Ovum's view on the challenge, and in the same way internet search engines use automation to crawl and catalog the web, enterprises too must start adopting similar approaches to their data.

Informatica's previously announced CLAIRE AI engine underpins its data management portfolio, in the form of the Informatica Intelligent Data Platform. Informatica describes CLAIRE as metadata driven. This description is key, not least because as data's scale and variety continue to expand so too does the difficulty of finding the right data for the right job. Metadata is critical, and machines are likely better at creating and curating it at scale. The vendor is announcing five AI-driven product areas, cloud/hybrid, 360 engagement, next-generation analytics, data governance and privacy, and enterprise data catalog. Focusing on data governance and privacy, Informatica is offering customers AI-powered intelligence that helps automate data discovery across structured and unstructured sources (including those held in data lakes, which are fast being adopted), generate and maintain data quality rules, and share metadata that helps unify governance across technical, business, and operational domains.

A quick final nod to Informatica's broader role in AI: it's one of the key vendors likely to be called on to help make AI work. Ovum has often written that AI is entirely dependent on data and that the adage of "garbage in, garbage out" has never been truer. As more and more enterprises start to make use of AI, even where it might be a feature of another product (the most likely on-ramp in Ovum's view), they are quickly discovering its value can be capped by a lack of, or poor quality, data. Informatica's long experience and established portfolio – enhanced by new AI features – positions the vendor well to help enterprises get the most out of new technology by helping them find and get the most out of their data.


Further reading

Building a Blueprint for the Data-Driven Enterprise, INT002-000197 (January 2019)

"Informatica acquires AllSight, connecting its strengths to new enterprise priorities," INT002-000221 (March 2019)


Tom Pringle, Head of Technology Research, Ovum

[email protected]