Operational Data Platforms

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2023 Vendor and Product Assessment

Operational Data Platforms

When selecting a data platform, there is one fundamental consideration that comes before all others: Is the workload primarily operational or analytic? The data platforms sector has been segmented between products targeting operational workloads and those targeting analytic workloads almost since the development of the first database products.

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Without operational data platforms, organizations would depend on paper records, time-consuming manual processes, and huge libraries of physical files to record, process and store business information.

Operational data platforms are designed to store, manage and process data to support worker-, customer- and partner-facing operational applications across on-premises, hybrid and multi-cloud environments. They support applications used to run the business, including finance, operations and supply chain, sales, human capital management, customer experience, and marketing. Operational data platforms include relational and non-relational databases (including NoSQL) as well as the increasing convergence of relational and non-relational approaches.

Operational data platforms play a fundamental role in enabling businesses to operate efficiently, to the extent that organizations are completely dependent upon them to operate efficiently. Without operational data platforms, organizations would depend on paper records, time-consuming manual processes, and huge libraries of physical files to record, process and store business information. The extent to which that is unthinkable highlights the extent to which a modern organization, and societyas a whole, are reliant on operational data platforms.

The operational data platforms market has been dominated since the 1980s by the relational data model and relational database management systems. However, non-relational data models that pre-date relational, such as the hierarchical model, remain in use today. Recent decades have also seen the proliferation of non-relational data platforms as the use of NoSQL databases using key-value, document and graph models has increased.

Our research shows that almost three-quarters of organizations are using relational databases today, while almost one-quarter (22%) are using NoSQL databases. It is important to note that almost all organizations will ultimately need to use a combination of data platforms. The initial adoption of non-relational database offerings is typically driven by the need to serve very specific requirements associated with the individual data model. As such, the various data models continue to be important considerations for non-relational database use-cases. However, while a few specialist databases remain, a period of evolution and functional consolidation has resulted in most products supporting multi-model capabilities.

 
 

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