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Modern data management requires a true balancing act between enabling exploratory analysis and protecting sensitive business information. There are no "best practices" today, but decentralized data governance and management appear to be the driving principles behind the first draft of the data discovery Magna Carta.


  • Traditional data management developed for internal enterprise data sources is difficult to apply to exploratory analytics, which thrives on external data of unknown value.
  • A near-real-time or transactional approach to management that occurs at the data ingestion stage and in transit, rather than at a central fixed data store, seems to be the best working approach at this time.

Features and Benefits

  • Assesses the data management challenges and recommends options to manage self-service exploratory analytics solutions.
  • Explores the vendor landscape for data management and exploratory analytics.

Key questions answered

  • How will you govern internal and external data?
  • What technologies are best suited to help you manage data in this new paradigm?

Table of contents


  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages


  • Recommendations for enterprises
  • Recommendations for vendors

Getting the basics right: What is exploratory analytics?

  • Start anywhere, go in any direction
  • What should exploratory analytics solutions be able to do?

Exploratory analytics vendor capabilities – today

  • Data presentation, collaboration, and integration are areas of strength

R&D investment in data management capabilities for the next 12–18 months

  • What are vendors investing in?
  • Native data integration is the highest priority for vendors now
  • Developing partnerships with self-service data preparation vendors is essential
  • Access control (or governed data exploration) has become table stakes
  • Data wrangling is the next step after ingestion
  • Support for unstructured data is all over the place
  • Data quality is starting to become important in the exploratory world


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author

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