I've had two inquiries in the last day relating to the building of data infrastructure between the database and predictive modeling tool, which I find to be an interesting coincidence. I hadn't even thought about a need here before (perhaps because I wasn't aware of the vendors that address this issue), but am curious if others have thought through this issue/problem.
I have seen situations where the analyst and DBA need to coordinate, but due to the politics or personalities in an organization, do not. In these cases, a data miner may need tables that actually exist, but the miner doesn't have permission to access the tables, or perhaps doesn't have the expertise to know how to join all the requisite tables. In these cases, I can imagine this middleware if you will could be quite useful if it were more user-friendly. However, I'm not yet convinced this a real issue for most organizations.