"The current generation of column-oriented, analytics databases was designed back at the turn of the century to make reporting faster," he began, "without any thought to how the data felt about being turned on its head. Talk to any DBA at any company these days, and they'll tell you that their data is in pain, real pain. All that time spent crammed together with similar datums in uncomfortable positions was fine when data was silent and reporting was all-important, but that's not the case today. Today businesses know that their data is valuable, and it's becoming more and more important to treat that data sensitively and humanely."
Stunned, I fumbled around for an intelligent-sounding question. "What can be done?" I asked lamely.
"Data need to be provided with comfortable living conditions, for starters", he replied. "They must no longer be subjected to draconian rules about how to arrange themselves or judgmental labels such as 'row-oriented' or 'analytics optimized'. Each datum must be allowed to pursue its own destiny... each must be free to store itself in the manner of its own choosing, to reside near other datums it finds interesting, to decide for itself whether it's more important to modify itself quickly or respond to queries quickly. Data has rights, after all.
Ultimately, too, I think data should only be required to work an 8 hour day. There's some research being done in that direction - vacation-based compression, I think they're calling it - to see if reducing the length of the workday for each datum can effectively reduce storage requirements. The first work being done there is aimed at a new storage engine for MySQL, I believe."
It sure is an interesting time to be a database geek...