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Data Talks, Episode 28

Data Talks is Exago’s podcast on business intelligence, analytics, and application software. This month, we’re learning all about unified data and analytics platforms (UDAPs) with Eckerson analyst Joe Hilleary. Eckerson Group coined the term in a paper it published in 2020, and it describes a trend taking place in the BI software space. Joe takes us on a deep dive into UDAPs, covering everything from what they are to who they benefit and why.


Segment 1: Unified Data and Analytics Platforms

(0:42) Meet Joe!

(2:11) The genesis of UDAPs

(3:24) UDAP definition and components

(5:47) UDAPs and data governance concerns

(8:23) Usability of UDAPs for non-technical vs technical end users

(9:07) Drawbacks of UDAPs when compared to distributed systems

(10:46) Minimum requirements for being classified as a UDAP

(12:53) Who or what is in charge of declaring a solution a UDAP

(15:17) Types of companies best suited to UDAPs

(18:58) What it takes to set up a UDAP

(20:40) Implications for data security

(22:35) Orchestration tools

(24:57) Future of UDAPs

Segment 2: What We Are Nerding Out About

(26:30) Joe: Data webs, data products, and data marketplaces.

(31:00) Chris: Psychology of tech workers: how to inspire teams, foster growth, and beat burnout.

(34:43) Nicole: How information is stored in the human brain, inspired by this This American Life segment and this research.

Notable Quotes

“That report, which was sort of introducing this [UDAPs] as a new space within business intelligence and data analytics tools really captured some hearts and minds.” (3:13)

“And we see this ultimately coming into the UDAPs within the last few years where it’s a self-service tool for the entire data stack, spanning all the way from capture and storage to the final publication of a dashboard or a report.” (5:28)

“So, if I’m a data engineer and I’m connecting to the data source and making sure it’s being transformed appropriately and modeled so it can be used by my analytics team, I’m still passing it off to analytics at some point. But I’m passing it off within the same platform, which allows that transition to happen really smoothly.” (8:06)

“Basically, when we say ‘UDAP,’ the minimum requirements for that, for us to classify it in that way, is to have the analytics functionality — that traditional BI capability…and then also having the storage and connection piece.” (12:23)

“One of the advantages of point tools is sometimes they have capabilities that you can’t get from anything else because they’re best in class for that particular function. But we don’t always need that, right? So if you’re paying an annual subscription for a tool that you’re really only using the base functionality of, you can get 80% of that functionality, most of the time, from something like a UDAP.” (18:10)

“I sort of envision this [UDAPs] being a go-to for smaller companies or folks who are just started from here on out. It makes the most sense if you are just beginning a data journey now and you need to set things up from scratch, you have no existing infrastructure — this allows you to go in very quickly.” (25:52)

Featured Guest

Joe Hilleary

Joe Hilleary is a writer and a data enthusiast. He believes that we are living through a pivotal moment in the evolution of data technology and is dedicated to helping organizations find the best ways to leverage their information. With a background in both analytics and the liberal arts, he crafts clear, articulate narratives on technical topics that empower stakeholders to make informed decisions. He holds a B.A. from Bowdoin College and, when not researching the latest developments in the world of data, can be found exploring the woods and rocky coasts of Maine.

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