Gartner Publishes North Pole Big Data Assessment

December 24, 2012 Paul M. Davis

Delivering toys to millions of children around the world in one night: suffice to say, Santa and his helpers at the North Pole may have been the first enterprise to contend with Big Data’s challenges. How does he keep track of all those wish lists, perform QA tests on prototypes, and ensure that toy production is on track to meet his yearly launch date of December 24th? In a recent post, Doug Laney at Gartner released the company’s findings from its Big Data assessment for the venerable North Pole Inc.

Laney explains that jolly ol’ Saint Nick manages an “extensive wealth of information assets” which must “manage orders, inventory, quality testing, elfin performance and activities, along with tracking human behavior, correspondence, wish lists and contact information, and also environmental impact data.” Fortunately, Kris Kringle’s enterprise boasts “impeccable data governance and quality processes, a world-class master data management program, an impressive team of data elves, and unwavering executive-level commitment and involvement.”

Which isn’t to say that Santa and his elves wouldn’t benefit from the value of predictive analytics, Laney notes. Gartner found that the organization’s “enterprise data warehouse, called ‘Chimneys’, is really a collection of stovepipe query and reporting systems, some still relying on first-generation BI tools like Red Brick.” Moreover, social sentiment analysis could identify gift trends earlier, increasing the efficiency of the operation, while automation of “Naughty or Nice” analysis could increase the effectiveness and accuracy of the assessments.

Check out Gartner’s entire report and recommendations for Santa and his merry elves, and Happy Holidays to all.

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