Priority: Become More Data-Driven
In my last blog post, I shared some research results from a webinar with 451 Research, which focused on the benefits of being data-driven and the importance of data governance. Let’s look further into why enterprises are finding it so difficult to truly become data-driven, and what can be done to alleviate these challenges.
The key contributing factors that make it difficult to get value out of all your data are clear: data silos and data complexity. The inability to effectively address these issues has been a constant inhibitor to the effective use of data in business decision-making for years. I continually encounter customers, who, despite their best efforts, have not been able to solve these challenges.
451 Research has uncovered a very interesting statistic: the companies who have embarked on data-driven initiatives actually have the highest number of data silos. This is true for both large enterprises and smaller organizations.
While originally I found this somewhat surprising, upon further reflection it’s actually quite logical. A company that aggressively embarks on this data discovery process will discover additional data silos that were unknown to them previously. Different departments/divisions/business units will most certainly have sources of data for their “personal” use that, if the data was made available across the business, could deliver benefits to the entire organization.
During the data discovery process, companies also realize that there is a vast amount of what we call “complex data” that they are not leveraging in their efforts to derive greater business value from their existing data sources.
I have spent some time thinking about what complex data means to me, and to my customers. Not surprisingly, the answer is — it depends. It varies by industry, by company, and by the types/sources of the data. I will explore this topic further in my next blog.
What are the key technology barriers to fully achieve the goals of a “data-driven” organization?
As highlighted in the chart below, limited budget is always a concern for IT. Not surprisingly, the top technology challenges are integration with existing legacy systems, data privacy, and data security.
Additionally, an infographic based on 451 Research’s Voice of the Enterprise: Data & Analytics, Data Management & Analytics 2020, shows that worker productivity is influenced by the availability of relevant data. One of the issues that many of our customers encounter, beyond the challenges of data integration, is that of data quality. In the 451 Research report, 46% of respondents highlighted data quality as a challenge in becoming more data-driven.
These barriers are real, and I spend a great deal of time talking to customers about our technology and how we can help them drive business results through data. So, how did we get here, and exactly does MarkLogic help customers drive better insight through better data?
Our customers are all on a journey to extract more value from information. Most organizations initially created individual data stores to address specific organizational business needs, in many cases without evaluating whether this data would be useful to other parts of the business.
Before long, they realized that the information necessary to make informed business decisions resided in lots of different places, and lived in lots of different formats. They discovered that that being data-driven meant leveraging data from these multiple sources. This would lead to improved decision-making, while driving increased business value.
So where does MarkLogic fit in helping our customers achieve a data-driven enterprise?
- MarkLogic creates value from complex data by providing the capability to quickly ingest data from any source, in any format. MarkLogic can then rapidly discover the connections between the data, enrich the content, and enhance the metadata.
- Our multi-model database is a single platform for storing all of your data. It can accelerate time-to-value through faster data integration and support for just-in-time schemas. With other approaches, you’re faced with making some hard choices about your data very early in the process, because you’re forced to define the schema prior to ingestion. With MarkLogic, customers can defer that process until they want to ask a specific question.
- MarkLogic also has a rich set of data integration and mastering tools. Our customers can build very rich semantic models that describe their world and use powerful search and query to inform better decisions — e.g., tell me everything we know about a policyholder. They can share their work product with others securely.
In short, MarkLogic can rapidly enable a data-driven enterprise. Our powerful enterprise data platform provides our customers with the ability to manage their complex data and deliver better insights to the business within a single platform. Many of our customers will testify to the results they have achieved. We encourage you to consider a new approach to these challenges.