Do you know what makes butterflies? I mean, besides just caterpillars and cocoons. That hidden transformation that makes a butterfly possible - it's some kind of nature magic.
What goes on in that cocoon is the same thing we want from our data. We want something beautiful – a magical flying thing – the transformation of data into brilliant insight. And it's possible.
The trick that the caterpillar has figured out - the thing it can do that no other creature can do, is actually part of its DNA. And we’re not talking about its amazing appetite, although that's critical.
Fun fact - if a 7-pound newborn baby were a caterpillar, it would eat 1,400 pounds of formula in just two weeks.
Today’s organizations are equally hungry. We’re creating and storing data at exponential rates. And locked away in that data is the insight required to innovate and gain competitive advantage.
Many software companies have responded by providing business intelligence and analytics tools. But the problem is that these tools can only crunch recognizable data – data that’s already been processed or is in a standard format. And this data is only the tip of the iceberg.
We need results from a massive amount of data we haven’t processed. When we look at where our data has come to rest, it’s like looking at big fat caterpillars. No butterflies in sight, and nothing to feed into analytics tools.
Now, you may know that inside its cocoon, which is called a chrysalis, a caterpillar basically melts into a gooey caterpillar soup. And it's at this point that nature magic transforms the goo into a butterfly. That's the process our data needs – chrysalization.
Gaining insight from our massive data stores is just as difficult to get as a butterfly from a caterpillar without chrysalization.
Caterpillars aren’t magical. Nor are butterflies. But we do need science to understand what’s going on. And we’ve discovered the secret – something called imaginal discs. These discs were with the caterpillar from birth and are called upon in the chrysalis to form the butterfly.
The butterfly was always inside the caterpillar, just locked away and incapable of flying around and pollinating flowers for farmers, or migrating south.