Semantic technologies have made it to Gartner’s list of the top technology trends that will impact information infrastructure this year.
The research firm yesterday released the list of nine trends that it says will play key roles in modernizing information management and in making the role of information governance increasingly important. Semantic technologies come in at No.3 on the list – right behind closely-tied-to trends Big Data and modern information infrastructure.
After all, Big Data, as Gartner states, demands cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing for enhanced insight and decision making, and infrastructure modernization requires an enabling technology infrastructure that helps information producers and information consumers organize, share and exchange any type of data and content, anytime, anywhere. These surely seem to spell s-e-m-a-n-t-i-c.
Gartner doesn’t focus on semantic web specifics in its announcement – RDF, SPARQL, OWL and such don’t get mentioned by name. But what it does say in its more general interpretation of semantic technologies in the announcement is this:
Semantic technologies extract meaning from data, ranging from quantitative data and text, to video, voice and images. Many of these techniques have existed for years and are based on advanced statistics, data mining, machine learning and knowledge management. One reason they are garnering more interest is the renewed business requirement for monetizing information as a strategic asset. Even more pressing is the technical need. Increasing volumes, variety and velocity — big data — in IM and business operations, requires semantic technology that makes sense out of data for humans, or automates decisions.
In addition to the what’s related to technology – NoSQL DBMSs, in-memory computing and the logical data warehouse are also included as key issues – the list also focuses on the who’s that will matter to the information infrastructure of 2013. “In addition to the new internal and external sources of information, practically all information assets must be available for delivery through varied, multiple, concurrent and, in a growing number of instances, real-time channels and mobile devices,” it says. “All this demands the ability to share and reuse information for multiple context delivery and use cases. More importantly, it demands new skills and roles.”
Among them: the Chief Data Officer, information manager/architect, and data steward. Enterprise information management programs require these functions in order to ensure that information is structured and managed throughout its life cycle, and best exploited for risk reduction, efficiency and competitive advantage. “The enterprises that are moving first to create these roles, and to train for them, will be the first to benefit from information exploitation,” Gartner says.