Data Integration Buyer's Guide


Make Data Great Again

Let’s make data great again. When is the last time data was celebrated by the enterprise for how much business value it has provided? I’m talking Kumbaya before the ETL process here. Seriously, the amount of material out there in vendor whitepapers and magazine headlines that talk about ‘the data problem’ is staggering. Data is now the lifeblood of any modern digital business, and to portray this as a problem that needs solving seems insane.

It’s true, organizations collect more data than ever before, but this isn’t for nothing. Businesses are scooping up all the data they can get their hands because it helps them understand their world in such a way that provides visible benefit. On the surface, data may seem like the problem, but in reality, it is the one and only solution. Seemingly every organization faces this ‘problem’, but ceasing to continually try and solve it would mean that you’re out of business. Those that fail to keep up with the Joneses have basically no chance of surviving in the modern day.

Resources in the form of data have never existed to the extent with which they do today. In that, many issues have become present, most notably data volume, storage costs, lack of skills, and the time it takes to integrate data into analytics platforms. However, vendors are catching up, with many of the top solution providers in both Business Intelligence and Data Integration offering up tools that tackle Big Data.

There are a few things we must keep in mind when it comes to data. First, no data can provide answers alone, which means that for the foreseeable future, experts will be needed to clean the data up for analysis, even when using the most advanced Big Data tools available. This is no reason to get frustrated with the process of data collection or integration, but it is a reason to further push vendors towards tools that save us time. Blaming the volume of data is also not a sound strategy since the quality of analysis absolutely increases with more data. In fact, he more data an organization collects, the more likely that information is to yield actionable insights.

Making data great again involves the realization that growing collection patterns and ‘the data problem’ really represent an exciting time for digital business that will allow IT to take advantage of things previously unknown, both now and in the future. Data Integration and Business Intelligence tools solve problems, but not the kinds of problems that providers would have you believe in their marketing pitches. Companies should be licking their lips at the prospect of more data and embracing all of the new resources that are being dumped into their laps.

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