Introducing the Liquid Data Model
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In the software world, we constantly represent real phenomena in abstract terms, and this is no exception in the world of data storage. We say that data storage, like matter, adheres to the Law of Increments, which states that, according to the General Systems Theory (GST), the information that can be obtained from a system is equal to the information that already exists in the system plus that which enters through its input stream.

That is to say, no data is ever wasted, and usage generates more data that requires more storage. This helps us to put into perspective the immense potential of the data we store on a daily basis, but a question arises: in order for data to be useful for our business purposes, should we consider storing it with any particular storage criteria? How can we best model the reality that the data we intend to store represents?

A New Way to Look at Data

We often hear forecasts about the death of some technology (relational databases or data storage paradigms such as the data warehouse) or the advent of new ones such as big data and cloud.

There is a relationship between a storage technology and its data modeling. We can say that traditional data storage technologies, such as RBDMS, or XML, CSV, or JSON files, could be described as exhibiting a “solid” data model. However, the growing trend is the coexistence and complementarity of different technologies, and we need to improve response when we make changes to data sources.

For this reason, we need a new paradigm. If we look at the nature of data, it is very similar to the nature of liquids. It adapts to the container that holds it, and the business world makes use of it with the container that is available at the time.

The Liquid Data Model

We need to model the reality of data from a broader view, one that shows an understanding the liquid characteristic of data and the versatile approach that this can bring to an organization with varied platforms. In contrast to the prevailing “solid” data model a “liquid” data model would abstract the complexity inherent in solid storage to present data to the business in a simpler and more adaptable way.

This approach is based on the idea of a single, secure, scalable business data model, providing governed, curated, corporate data, and in which there can be traceability and predictability, supported by the  intelligence to optimally deal with the main current technologies so that the change of solid storage structures has the least impact on the life of the business data model. In other words, the liquid data model can buffer the inherent complexity of a database migration project, the acquisition of new systems, upgrades to existing systems, or any other situation that involves a change in the place where the data lives.

This liquid data model emphasizes the adaptability with which we can combine heterogeneous sources, making it easier for business, IT, or information security teams to reduce costs and maximize the benefits of the available data.

Leverage the Power of Liquid Data

All of these competitive advantages can be found in the Denodo Platform, a leading data virtualization platform. With the Denodo Platform, we can easily apply a new “liquid” paradigm to the enterprise data value chain, with a never-before-seen level of adaptability, to better meet the demands of the future. As Peter Drucker would say, “The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different.”

Welcome to the time of liquid data!

Cesar Ayala Albertini
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