Every two days we create as much data now as we did up to 2003. A more recent estimate indicates that 1,820 terabytes of data is created every 60 seconds. The advent of social media platforms, eCommerce, digital media, mobility, and industrial IoT has created a massive data explosion.
The enterprises today have more data than they could handle. Data is fast becoming the new business currency and hence the new center of focus for enterprises. New-age businesses are creating high valuations because they have data and also the capabilities to make sense of that data and exploit it gainfully. Traditional enterprises too are increasingly spending on computing, storage, networking, applications, databases, middleware, and emerging technologies to utilize the huge piles of transactional data present in their repositories. To stay competitive, they are also recognizing the value of leveraging data for unlocking the business intelligence, which in turn would make them smarter.
Figure 1 – Eleven Data Imperatives
As businesses undergo digital transformation, they would be required to address eleven data imperatives. These imperatives become relevant in the context of enterprises wanting to become more adept at giving the customers a new experience, while getting more efficient at managing costs and nimbler in responding to the competitive forces.
The advancements in hyper-converged infrastructure that leverage the power of cloud computing, faster networks, superior data cleaning and integration technologies, lighter mobile apps, powerful data analytics tools, emerging machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities, and strong sensors to collect operational and field data are allowing enterprises to democratize data. This democratization of data is leading to broader information consumption, process improvements, and faster decision making to engage, empower, enable, and extend it for innovating and driving efficiencies.
These eleven imperatives (Figure 1) pertain to various aspects of the enterprise digital platform and underscore the need for a holistic approach toward making data more valuable for businesses.
At the infrastructure level, these imperatives cover architectures that allow for faster data access and networks that allow for improved flow and security of data as it travels to and fro an enterprise’s boundary. The reality of today’s business is integration, not only within the enterprise but also with its partners, suppliers, and customers. To support an anywhere-anytime access to data, enterprises also need to address the need for higher data availability. With the advent of better sensor technologies and IoT platforms, a much broader approach to collecting operational and field data is also possible.
The focus at the database and application levels is increasingly on enhancing the quality of data residing in the enterprise databases by removing duplication and reconciling multiple formats, thus allowing for seamless data exchange between databases and applications, both within and across the enterprise boundaries, and handling of a variety of data, both structured and unstructured.
The next focus is on analyzing data by using a range of tools and methodologies to discover insights and hidden patterns. The insights thus obtained could be shared for use for decision making or fed back into the processes for an automated play.
The presentation of data is as important as its collection, structuring, and analysis. A good presentation could create better connect with the data and lead to higher consumption.
It’s imperative for the contemporary enterprises to seriously look at addressing each of the eleven data imperatives and, if required, work with IT providers who could help them do that.