Like a Needle in a Haystack – Discover Metadata in a Few Clicks (Part 2)

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Just in case you forgot what happened in Part 1 of this series, Airwave’s BI team was about to be hit with months of manual work as a result of new regulation. The CFO, Lisa, was stressed and she’d just reached out to me for help.

“Have you heard of Octopai?” I asked her.

Lisa paused for a while, looked at me and said: “Yeah, that’s that startup with the search engine that locates BI metadata across multiple databases, right? I’ve heard something about them. You mentioned them few months ago, but I don’t remember the details. Tell me more”.

“Listen”, I said, “why don’t we meet with Amnon, Octopai’s CEO, and he can tell you everything you need to know. I think you should experience it yourself in your own computing environment first though.  How about a proof of concept (POC) so you can best understand what you can do with Octopai? They’ll get you out of this crisis in a matter of hours, but make sure the CIO is on board – after all, this is her territory and you don’t need more opposition within your team holding you back.”

Lisa picked up the phone and dialed.  “Susan, listen. I have Avi with me here on the phone and we want to talk to you about using Octopai for our BI team. I think you heard about them a few months back”. Susan responded firmly: “if we can search metadata across all our databases in one query and get the data mapping, I’m all for it.

From weeks to days

The next day, within five hours, Octopai was connected to three BI platforms at Airwave Computing environment, and all team members were given cloud access. Susan, the CIO, decided to test Octopai on one mid-size project to make sure she would get the expected benefits.  She rallied the project team, and together with Lisa they defined the success factors for the short POC.  They set a moderate target to complete the mapping that was originally planned for three weeks, in just three days.  With such massive savings to the project timeline Lisa was positive she could easily sell the idea to management.

Lisa called Amnon to thank him for the quick installation and informed him of the project target to complete the metadata mapping in a few days.  Amnon was amused and told Lisa that Octopai doesn’t work in days, but rather in seconds.  Lisa was skeptical but agreed to take the challenge and work with the team to monitor the actual results. “I’ll call you in a few days to let you know our conclusion regarding the POC.”  “I’ll be waiting to hear from you”, Amnon said and hung up.

Lisa went back to her desk to continue working on the business case to justify the permanent installation of Octopai in Airwave, in the event that they actually meet their POC targets.  She was confident that if Octopai proved to be as effective as promised that she would offer the technology to all business analysts, who were constantly struggling with metadata discovery and having to manually map out the data journey. In such cases, Lisa would normally call Susan and beg for a technical resource to start searching the requested items across multiple platforms. In fact, during a normal week, Lisa usually called Susan regarding such tasks three or four times on average. “If I can give these tools to the business community, I won’t have to beg for more time from IT”, Lisa thought to herself.

“This is going to be an amazing move for all of us, once Octopai delivers on its promise,” she thought. As Lisa turned to watch the growing number of emails on her workstation, Susan came in, storming, waving her hands in the air.

From days to seconds

“Lisa, you have to see this, it’s unbelievable; I’ve never seen anything like this in my entire career. You have to see this.

Susan didn’t wait for an answer, she grabbed Lisa by the hand, quickly walking her to the BI project room. “Look at this” shouted Lisa, pointing her finger to the center of a widescreen on the opposite wall.

***

To be continued

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