Data management trends: Convergence and more money
The past year focused heavily on data intelligence, lakehouse development and observability as vendors innovated to help enterprises make effective use of converged data and technologies.
2022 was another busy year for data management, as the demand for enhanced approaches for optimized data usage to drive better business outcomes continued unabated.
In a year in which many organizations struggled to deal with the ongoing impact of the pandemic, inflationary concerns and the specter of economic slowdown, data remained the fundamental atomic unit. With data, organizations can make better decisions with data analytics, business intelligence and databases continuing to be the foundation for modern applications and operations.
Among the key data management trends observed in 2022 was the ongoing convergence of different database technologies, including online analytical processing (OLAP), online transaction processing (OLTP), relational and technologies.
Transactional and analytical database technologies converge
For decades, databases have been segmented by use case. Transactional databases are one thing, while analytical databases are another and organizations tend to run both types of databases to support business operations.
A key data trend in 2022 was the continued movement away from the segmentation toward a converged, unified database model that integrates support for both OLAP and OLTP. It's an approach that is known by a few different terms, including translytical as well as hybrid transactional and analytical processing (HTAP).
Multiple vendors upgraded their unified database platforms in 2022. Database vendor PingCap advanced its TiDB HTAP database with the launch of a database as a service (DBaaS) offering.
Oracle extended MySQL HeatWave to run on AWS, marking the first time the service can run outside of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. The service expanded further in October with data lakehouse capabilities, enabling users to query data stored in cloud data lakes.
Google entered the converged database game with its AlloyDB database, launched in May. AlloyDB is based on the open source PostgreSQL transactional database and integrated analytics query acceleration for OLAP workloads.
The MongoDB 6.0 NoSQL database is also getting into the converged space, providing users with analytics query acceleration. The idea of converging analytics and transaction workloads is also coming to the Snowflake data cloud with a capability known as Hybrid Tables, announced in June.
Relational databases converge with NoSQL document databases
The convergence of capabilities in databases also extended in 2022 to bringing relational and NoSQL database technologies closer together.
SingleStore updated its namesake unified database to version 8.0 with new data query acceleration functionality specifically for JSON document data types, which in the past had largely been the domain of purpose-built NoSQL databases.
The convergence of relational and NoSQL is also coming to Oracle's namesake database. Oracle Database 23c includes a feature called JSON relational duality that enables users to integrate JSON document data with the Oracle relational database model. Support for JSON was also part of the PostgreSQL 15 relational database update.
Big money continued to pour into data vendors in 2022
Among the key data trends in 2021 was the large amount of money vendors were able to raise during the year. It's a trend continuing in 2022 across multiple segments of the data market, demonstrating the growing demand for collaboration, data integration, data observability, data lakehouse and data intelligence capabilities.
In January, data collaboration vendor Observable raised $35.6 million in funding as the company built out its capabilities for enabling organizations to better work together with data assets.
The growing demand for data lakehouse capabilities was reflected in a $160 million raise by Dremio in January, followed by a $250 million raise by rival Starburst in February. With the data lakehouse model, organizations are able to use a cloud data lake to act like a data warehouse for analytics. Getting data in and out of the lakehouse and cloud data system is another challenge and one that helped reverse ETL vendor Census raise $60 million.
While there is a trend toward converged databases, that doesn't mean standalone analytical or transactional databases are going away. Analytics database vendor Imply raised $100 million for its platform based on the open source Apache Druid database. DataStax, which is one of the leading commercial supporters of the Apache Cassandra database, raised $115 million.
Another area of investment in 2022 was for data intelligence and data observability technologies. Monte Carlo raised $135 million for its data observability platform, while Alation raised $123 million to help push its data intelligence and data catalogue functionality forward.
There is likely to be less fundraising activity in the space in 2023, due to inflation coupled with concerns about the recession and overall economic slowdown. However, the core 2022 data management trends that saw the convergence of analytics and transactional capabilities, as well as relational capabilities being integrated with NoSQL, are not trends that will disappear anytime soon and will likely continue for years to come.