Take a second to think about the data complexity that today’s enterprises are forced to manage. Good old fashioned transactional data and internal master data records are growing, and growing fast. We know this. However, these facts barely scratch the surface of the challenge for most companies. As the ubiquity of mobile devices continues to raise the bar of technical sophistication for the average person, more internal users are clamoring for applications to help automate and extend their everyday work lives. The increase in mobile and remote employees has magnified the need to bring many of these applications off-premise and into a cloud environment.
Additionally, data itself is growing in complexity as more unstructured information from social channels is bubbling up alongside a barrage of machine/sensor generated data from the Internet of Things. The research shows that, regardless of their maturity in handling data, the vast majority of companies operate in an environment that necessitates better data management and preparation (Figure 1).
In response to this complexity, companies today are sinking more resources into a variety of activities designed to help improve the quality, usability, accessibility, or portability of data, including:
- Data Integration
- Master Data Management
- Data Quality Enhancement
- Data Governance
Any of these activities could be argued as vital to the IT health and data efficiency of an organization. However, the end-game for the investment of time, money, and resources into these activities can’t just be IT efficiency. Best-in-Class companies always keep their eyes on the ultimate goal of enabling and empowering better data-driven business decisions through analytical activity (Figure 2).
Figure 2: Empowering the Analytical Process
Top companies endow their most critical line-of-business managers with broader access to the data they need, more accurate analyses, and more timely insights as well. In addition to generating a more productive data environment overall, Best-in-Class companies are able to identify and act upon business opportunities more efficiently, producing improvement in key metrics like revenue growth and profitability.