Data Integration Buyer's Guide

Embracing Data Agility: A Vital Strategy for Business Survival

Solutions Review’s Contributed Content Series is a collection of contributed articles written by thought leaders in enterprise tech. In this feature, Progress‘s Philip Miller offers commentary on embracing data agility and why it is a vital strategy for business survival.

IT professionals and industry experts are aware of the continuous, exponential growth in the volume and variety of data each year. The ability to efficiently capture, analyze, and leverage this data for informed decision-making is an essential element of business survival. To remain competitive, organizational leaders should prioritize the establishment of a culture that promotes ongoing learning, embraces valuable insights, and seamlessly integrates cutting-edge technologies into their technology infrastructures.

Like any business integration, the adoption of new data formats and the interpretation of the new insights they provide may present challenges. Organizations must guarantee a secure, scalable, and, most importantly, adaptable data platform capable of accommodating various data sources and tools. This platform should be designed to tackle business challenges effectively, provide essential insights, and facilitate innovation and growth.

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Embracing Data Agility

What is the Need for Agile Data in Businesses?

Data agility is assessed based on an organization’s ability to achieve its objectives rapidly and flexibly, regardless of whether it operates within a hybrid or multi-cloud infrastructure. A comprehensive grasp of the metadata associated with these data formats empowers the organization’s data analysts to extract and manipulate the complete data set.

To attain genuine data agility, an organization must have a data platform that offers the needed flexibility and scalability.

The conventional approach to data management usually revolves around using various database and data management tools, knowledge models, and rule engines. This fragmented approach tends to be rigid and lacks flexibility, often necessitating extensive modifications to applications and systems when accommodating new requirements. In the swiftly evolving business world today, companies require the freedom to harness new tools and capitalize on emerging opportunities readily and efficiently. Waiting weeks or months to implement and capitalize on the business advantage of a new tool frequently results in missed opportunities and loss of competitive edge.

This underscores the critical role a data platform plays in the survival and success of a business. Companies require a unified and comprehensive technological solution that seamlessly integrates with the entire organization.

The optimal data platform should possess the ability to ingest various data types, whether they are structured, semi-structured or unstructured. An agile data platform for businesses should be adaptable to diverse data models, ranging from traditional SQL to RDF, Geospatial, and Temporal data, all while enhancing data with metadata and applying ontologies and taxonomies. It involves infusing human intelligence on a machine scale. Ultimately, the platform should deliver customized data downstream to meet the specific needs of the business while ensuring top-notch security and governance at the enterprise level.

Embracing a data platform approach may require companies to explore beyond conventional technologies and architectures. However, this pivotal shift guarantees their resilience and competitive advantage in an ever-evolving business landscape.

What Advantages Do Agile Data Platforms Offer?

Implementing an agile data platform diminishes the reliance on IT teams, granting data analytics teams greater autonomy in their roles and fostering alignment between an organization’s IT initiatives and its business objectives. It empowers IT professionals to work within a more adaptable environment to enhance their visibility into infrastructure settings. Data analysts can then more closely monitor data metrics, delivering stakeholders a deeper insight into internal processes.

Once an agile data platform is in place, it can significantly reduce time-to-market for specific projects. This is especially beneficial in organizations with data silos, which can impede team productivity. Agile data platforms streamline access to shared data for both IT and analyst teams.

Agile data platform offers substantial cost savings, as their implementation doesn’t necessitate a complete infrastructure overhaul or additional investments in data tools.

The Rewards to Data-Agile Businesses

Several global organizations have harnessed the power of agile data platforms to revolutionize their business operations with significant impact. In one instance, a prominent aerospace company adopted an agile data platform to transition to a model-based systems engineering (MBSE) approach. This transformation facilitated increased efficiency within their IT teams, process streamlining, seamless integration of disparate data sources, and enhanced data analysis capabilities.

In another scenario, a non-profit life insurance company migrated from legacy mainframes to a modern, agile data infrastructure. This transition aimed to make data from various systems more accessible and user-friendly. By combining current and historical policy data with unstructured data from across the organization, the company empowered its users to effortlessly retrieve comprehensive member policy information for servicing, reporting, and compliance purposes.

The Path to Business Success: Embracing Data Agility

Upon embracing an agile data platform, businesses embark on a transformative journey toward a future characterized by growth, innovation, and ongoing positive outcomes. An indispensable element of this journey is a data platform capable of accommodating diverse data forms, supporting various data models, and enhancing data with metadata. Such a platform plays an important role in driving valuable insights, addressing business challenges, and nurturing a culture of innovation. In the digital age, businesses must acknowledge that data is the cornerstone of success. In an increasingly competitive global landscape, the ability to harness the full potential of data will determine an organization’s resilience and relevance.

As organizations venture into new markets and technologies, an agile data platform assumes a critical role as the enabler of their ambitions. A unified, integrated data platform liberates businesses from the constraints of fragmented solutions, enabling them to swiftly respond to market dynamics, meet consumer demands, and capitalize on emerging opportunities. By adopting a data platform approach, businesses unlock the true potential of their data, fuelling their growth and charting a course toward a prosperous and sustainable future. This journey necessitates a shift in mindset, but the rewards are substantial—an enhanced ability to translate data into actionable insights, create value for customers, and forge a resilient path to success in a world where change and the management of vast data volumes are the only constants.

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