The Sequels to SQL – Data Disruptors

The sequels to SQL

SQL has long been the database by which all other databases are measured. In our ever evolving technologically charged world, the next market disruptor is primed to leverage data intelligence. This comprehensive data platform for the next generation of applications will drive efficient business practices, refine products, and boost customer experiences. Slated to drive AI where the data lives – and data today lives in the cloud.

The NewSQL in the Cloud

While traditional databases support SQL, they don’t scale well. However, there are a number of new relational databases on the market that offer a number of integrations. NewSQL database characteristics aren’t new, but until now were only available individually.

As new databases arrive to the market and the variety grows, there are some notable examples to keep a close eye on. These include SAP’s HANA, an in-memory relational database. Others of note include MemSQL, Clusterix, and to some minds even Amazon’s Aurora offered through Amazon Web Services.

The ability of NewSQL databases to support individually run applications is being leveraged to more easily handle databases which require more scalability. Applications scalable to AI, machine learning, social, mobile, and Internet of Things (IoT) are on the rise and integrate seamlessly with the cloudbased databases currently available.

From Microsoft’s Azure to Google’s Spanner their database systems have spanned a number of advancements, not the least of which is open source data environments, keeping the business world’s best foot forward and on its toes.

While Google’s Spanner, “represents the next chapter in the continuous development of database technologies,” a paper authored by 451 Research Director Matt Aslett and Carnegie Mellon University’s Andre Pavlo states, Microsoft’s data platform takes a deeper dive into AI integration. The cognitive services offered by Microsoft’s Azure platform can take your data to the next level with server-less analytics and the ability to process data on demand.

Stepping up performance and security

The leader in databases and the benchmark for performance and security, SQL Server continues to lead. Breakthroughs in not only security and performance, but scale and data warehousing have brought the latest edition of SQL Server up to speed at nearly 100x faster in queries, reporting, and integrative enterprises. Standard SQL is still the one to beat for superior data and analytics information.

Intelligent database management helps makes your organization’s database faster and more secure allowing higher capacity for strategic efforts. Security features throughout the systems use machine learning to detect anomalous activities including the possibility of intrusion to keep at bay or eliminate the possibility of intrusion. Securing data increases its performance and helps keep customer’s databases more resilient.

If you’re interested in contributing to the future of data intelligence, we might have just the role for you. We specialize in Data and Analytics recruitment and always have a wide range of vacancies at both junior and senior level. Take a look at our current vacancies or contact us to find out more.

For the East Coast and Mid-West teams please call 212-796-6070, or email

For the West Coast team call 415-614-4999 or email


Harnham blog & news

With over 10 years experience working solely in the Data & Analytics sector our consultants are able to offer detailed insights into the industry.

Visit our News & Blogs portal or check out our recent posts below.

Download our 2018 US Salary Guide

We are thrilled to announce the release of the 2018 editions of our market-leading Salary Guides for the UK, US and Europe. Having spoken to thousands of Data & Analytics professionals across the globe, we gained invaluable insights into key industry salaries and trends across a wide variety of specialisms and sectors.  Our surveys are created for analysts, by analysts, and offer a detailed, on-the-ground look at what’s concerning talent in the industry. As with the last few years, 2018 has shown us that the data industry continues to grow and shows no sign of slowing, with demand for analysts still easily outstripping supply. You can download our US Salary Guide here, including salary and trend analysis across five key specialisms: Data & Technology, Data Science, Digital Analytics, Marketing & Insight, and Risk Analytics. 


This Monday was Labor Day; a tribute to the American worker. Established over a century ago as the Industrial Age got under way, the holiday was meant to showcase their strength, freedom, and leadership. Now, as the Fourth Industrial Revolution ushers in a new age of robotics, automation, and digitization many workers may wonder how they’ll fit into the new workplace. These concerns are being addressed in a land known for its startup and innovation culture. San Francisco. For 3 days, the city will host an Artificial Intelligence Conference focused on how to use emerging AI techniques in real-world implementations. Will Robots Take My Job? Movies and books tend to offer cautionary tales of problems which might occur if rapid changes go unchecked. It’s unlikely, however, that you’ll find yourself fending off a group of Androids or Terminators any time soon. AI, like all forms of progress, is intended to help improve the quality of human life. Imagine, for a moment, life before washing machines, dishwashers, microwaves, and mobile phones. Not only were these items intended to improve lives, but to give people more time for other things like creativity and cognitive thinking. At the AI Conference in San Francisco, Adam Cutler of IBM Design is taking a deeper dive into how human and machine can form meaningful relationships. It is one thing to respond to machines like Alexa or Siri, who are boxes with voices, but what about when there are more Sophias in the world? Sophia is the first ‘robot citizen’ created by Hanson Robotics. She looks, talks, and reasons much like we do. Though repetitive jobs such as manufacturing may be more affected as robots will be able to make things for longer, at a faster pace, there will still need to be oversight. Even here, there will still be a need for humans to make higher level decisions. Humans are able to gauge reactions whereas robots will look only at the data.   How Businesses Can Integrate AI into their Enterprise In the world of startup cultures, AI may be seamlessly integrated and built into the culture or around it, but what about legacy companies? Those who have been following the same patterns for 25, 50, or 100 years? In Taming dragons: a breakthrough approach to AI for business leaders, the discussion focuses on how to implement enterprise AI into businesses. Every new technique we introduce is nuanced and massaged to make the pill of change easier to swallow. But, if we grab for every shiny new toy without fully understanding why we need it and how it can help us improve our bottom line, we risk either misusing it or tossing it aside because it didn’t deliver as promised.  What Can I do to Futureproof My Job and Myself? Ultimately, the key is to always be learning. Understand the deeper changes and effects of AI in the marketplace and figure out where else you might be able to use your skills. Diversify. Get creative. Determine your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. See if you can’t spin those threats into opportunities.  Technical skills are high priority, of course; computer science, Data Science, and Natural Language Processing are all woven into the tapestry of today’s job market. But, as AI capabilities continue to grow, it’s skills such as communication, creativity, empathy, and leadership where humans will continue to have the edge. Want to learn more and see if we have a role for you? Check out our current vacancies. See where Harnham can take you. For our West Coast team, call (415) 614 4999 or email us at For our Mid-West and East Coast teams, call (212) 796 6070 or email us at

Data Engineers: The Foundation of Your Data Team

Road crews lay the foundational infrastructure of our roads. Foundation plants are the basis on which a local habitat can thrive. But, when it comes to the infrastructure of our data, it’s the Data Engineers who lay the foundation.  As one of the hottest emerging jobs on LinkedIn and around the globe, businesses are now waking to the idea that Data Engineers are key to their teams. Data is now one of a company's most valuable assets, next to people and infrastructure, and Data Engineers are key players who can help your business break away from the competition. Why Data Engineers Are Essential for Your Team Data Engineers are the designers, builders and managers of information. As the value of data has risen, so has their importance, with increased visibility and broader a broader set of skills now sought by employers. The balance between highly technical and soft skills makes finding skilled Data Engineers difficult but critical for businesses.  At the top most level, Data Engineers act as your ‘Chief Problem Solver’. Their understanding of data pipelines’ infrastructure, coupled with familiarity of data sets and programming languages, helps them creatively solve problems.  Armed with a firm grasp and understanding of procedures, standards, algorithms, code, and how they all work together, Data Engineers have a full comprehension of the latest business currency: information. But, to solve problems and run efficient processes, first Data Engineers must build an infrastructure. Here are just a few examples of the myriad of services they can offer: Experimentation: A/B testing and experimentation frameworks are often critical to a company’s analytics and involve a significant Data Engineering component. Sessionization: Pipelines specialized to understand a series of actions in time, allowing analysts to understand user behaviors. Instrumentation: Analytics starts with logging events and attributes related to those events. Data Engineers have vested interests in making sure high quality data is captured upstream. Metric Computation: Frameworks to compute and summarize engagement, growth or segmentation related metrics. Route to the Role of Data Engineer As important as education is on the route to the role of engineer, there are some essential skills you can’t learn in school, such as communication.  It may come as no surprise that technology-centric roles dominate LinkedIn’s top 20 emerging jobs. New Machine Learning and Data Science roles and skills indicate a shift in the types of technology we can expect to be using in the near future, as well as suggesting what professionals should be preparing themselves for.  Data Engineers have grown in visibility and influence as enterprises realize that the future of computing lies with how their underlying data and infrastructure are handled. Like many Digital Analytics roles, demand is high for Data Engineers. Nearly half of all executives surveyed in the U.S. and Europe estimate analytics and Big Data skills will soon be the most important digital capabilities at their companies. Some of the biggest names in business are ramping up their digital recruitment efforts estimating an additional 15 percent growth rate by 2024. If you’re looking for a cutting-edge career in Big Data and analytics, our specialist Data Engineering consultants may have a role for you.  Check out our current vacancies or contact us to learn more. For our West Coast Team, call (415) 614-4999 or email For our Mid-West and East Coast teams call (212) 796 6070 or email

Why A Work-Life Balance is Better for Business

Contrary to sitcoms, work life balance isn’t about sitting in coffee shops contemplating life and complaining about work. However, there are plenty of jobs where you can work from or in a coffee shop. The rise of virtual, remote, and contractual roles has contributed to the demand for work life balance. But, sometimes, in our tech-led world, where business can follow us anywhere, the balance becomes more about setting boundaries. It’s about putting down our mobile phones, closing our laptops, and dipping our toes into other waters.  Where Does Your Country Fit on the Work-Life Balance Scale? European countries have been leading the way with work-life balance for some time, with the Netherlands topping the list at number one. With the US sitting at number 30 out of the 38 countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), what’s tipping the scales? 11.4% of Americans work 50 or more hours per week versus 0.5% of people in the Netherlands work those long hours.  The average American is therefore only setting aside 14.4 hours for leisure and personal care (including eating and sleeping) a day versus those in the Netherlands who dedicate 15.9 hours. Countries in the Nordics work a maximum of 48-hours per week. However, the reality is significantly lower, with the Finnish working an average of 36.2 hours a week, the Swedes 35.9 hours, Norwegians at 34 hours, and the Danes just 32 hours..Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Iceland have become renowned for fostering optimal work-life balance. But, though the Netherlands sits at the number one spot on the OECD, the Danes top the list as the happiest in the world. The Danish welfare model, characterized by quality of life and a good work-life balance offers: Flexible working conditions and social support networks, including maternity leave and childcare facilities. A high degree of flexibility at work – often including adaptable start times and the ability to work from home. Lunch breaks are often at a designated time each day, enabling colleagues to interact, eat together, and get away from their desks. There is a minimum 5 weeks’ paid holiday for all wage earners. The Danish welfare society is characterized by quality of life and a good work-life balance. Work-life balance for the Danes is a healthy balance of priorities. As important as career and ambition is, are is just as important to balance life outside work (pleasure, leisure, family, and health). This understanding of balance not only puts Denmark at the top of the international equality table, it also contributes to a generally high standard of living. Further research shows 33% of working American adults work over the weekend and on holidays. This, in turn, has led 66% to say they don’t feel they have a good work-life balance. One of the main drivers contributing to the need to always be “on” and available is 24/7 technology.  For example, if an employer emails, texts, or rings an employee at dinnertime, the employee often feels compelled to answer straightaway. While 57% of those surveyed feel technology has ruined the family dinner, 40% believe it is okay to answer an urgent call or email at the dinner table. So, it comes back to boundaries and not feeling guilty about ‘switching off’ for a few hours or a few days to ‘recharge’. What Companies are Doing to Improve Work-Life Balance  Nordic businesses remain at the top of the list for best work-life balance. Though much of it is dictated by strict Nordic Labor laws, companies outside the Nordics are beginning to take pages from their playbook.  At a business in Helsinki, Finland, employees are encouraged to go home on time at the end of their day. Often this falls around 5:00pm, though leaving earlier to say, go to a child’s sports activity, is always a guilt-free option.  Like many European businesses, employees also receive five weeks of paid vacation each year. Everyone gets stock options and teams are small with the ability to make autonomous decisions. The theory: this team is closest to the project, they know what is best for it. No management approval required, but only to help share in lessons learned. Many Nordic businesses have shortened hours and a focus on family. By putting family first, businesses report improved productivity and innovation, less absenteeism, and reductions in staff turnover. Other benefits can include: The ability to leave work 30-minutes early to pick up kids from school or take them to sports practice The ability to use sick days to take care of sick children Businesses regularly offer gym memberships, event discounts, leadership classes, and team-building exercises as well as opportunities for employees to take courses and further their education. At one business, in Sweden, for example, employees have access to a leisure center and recreational activities such as fishing, tennis, and swimming. Though everyone has their own definition of what work-life balance means to them, it can be difficult to follow without government mandates, like in some European countries, or if you’re a small business. Our UK and Europe Salary Guide showed that, with over 98% of respondents working full time, at least some flexibility is now expected. We found that 53% of respondents work at home at least one day a week, and 56% have flexible working hours, highlighting that these ‘benefits’ are now becoming the norm.  Harnham Life As a business, we try to both reflect, and the lead the way with, developments that we see across the Data & Analytics industry. From ensuring our consultants leave on time two days per week to participate in pursuits outside work, to offering one fully-paid Charity Day per year, we place emphasis on creating an environment where our teams feel like they have a good work-life balance. By building a culture where a consultant can set up a book club or arrange a night out on the town, we have formed a business where employee welfare is prioritized.  Though everyone has their own definition of what work-life balance means to them, it can be difficult to follow without government mandates like in some European countries or if you’re a small business. The important thing is to do what’s right for you and sometimes turn off your phone, close your laptop, and meet up with some family or friends in that coffee shop.  Whether you’re looking for a role with more benefits or a better work-life balance, we can help. 

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