Tim Berners-Lee, in a 2007 Bloomberg Business interview, discusses his vision of enterprise data and how organizations would bring together varied sets of data.
“When you use the word “silos,” that’s the word we hear when somebody in the enterprise talks about the stovepipe problem. Different words for the same problem: that business information inside the company is managed by different sorts of software, and you have to go to a different person and learn a different program to see it. Any enterprise CEO really ought to be able to ask a question that involves connecting data across the organization, be able to run a company effectively, and especially to be able to respond to unexpected events. Most organizations are missing this ability to connect all the data together.
“Anybody making real decisions uses data from many sources, produced by many sorts of organizations, and we’re stymied. We tend to have to use backs of envelopes to do this and people have to put data in spreadsheets, which they painfully prepare. In a way, the Semantic Web is a bit like having all the databases out there as one big database. It’s difficult to imagine the power that you’re going to have when so many different sorts of data are available.”
Regardless of whether or not you are using Semantic technologies, I think you can see that we are making progress towards understanding that silo-ed data is still here and that we need ways to bring the power of external data together to make it useful. New technologies & approaches such as analytics and machine learning require that we understand the data, its provenance and its freshness to get decent result.
Imagine the power. Indeed.