Data is so valuable that it has been portrayed as the oil of the digital economy. But to turn information into insights across all your data environments—data center and cloud—your business must make data management a priority.
Just as oil needs to be extracted and refined, data needs to pass through several key phases, such as storage, integration, security, and governance, before your business can extract insights that offer a competitive advantage. After all, if your organization cannot trust the data it stores, how can employees trust the insights they glean from this information?
While high value is placed on producing analytical insights from big data, you must ensure that the foundation for global data management is in place. Luckily, a dataplane can help you be successful.
Businesses face a data management challenge across three key dimensions: repositories, locations, and types. As an IT decision-maker, you know that data continues to spread across various repositories within your enterprise, including data warehouses and data lakes and clusters where part of the data, such as customer information, might be stored in one cluster, while product data might be stored in another. However, this ongoing sprawl of data is not your only concern.
Information spread also assumes a physical form, with data stored in a number of disparate locations. As organizations increasingly adopt hybrid storage and compute models, data also flows into cloud environments. Depending on the business use case and the cost to store and analyze data, your organization might move information from data centers to the cloud and vice versa.
Your business also faces a challenge related to the different types of data it manages, how it got there, who’s touched it, and how it’s being used. An automotive firm, for example, might draw information from hundreds of internet-connected sensors. A retailer, on the other hand, might collect data from social media channels. This unstructured data must be combined with traditional, structured data to allow employees to gather valuable insights.
IT decision-makers are deluged with data, and their C-suite peers, who see the success of innovative businesses like Amazon and Airbnb, also expect to exploit the huge volumes of information being collected. According to McKinsey, however, too many organizations still drill down on a single data set in isolation, and fail to consider what it means for other parts of the business.
While big data can unlock value, your organization must understand how it aims to make the most of information. Some organizations use data to take a reactive stance, investigating trends and seeking to increase performance. Other firms take a more proactive approach, using data to create a competitive differentiation.
At the leading edge are organizations that use data as a product to generate revenue. Not every business is at this advanced stage, but whether you are a pioneer or a laggard, it is crucial to manage data effectively in the digital age.
This paints a complex picture in which the effective use of information can make the difference between success and failure. As the volume of data continues to grow in your organization and reaches a tipping point, more businesses will face the challenge of managing data across a hybrid computing platform, where information will be sourced from both on-premise locations and cloud environments at a moment’s notice.
To manage data effectively, your organization must know where it’s held, whether in the internal data center, the public cloud, or both, which is most likely. It is in this complex environment where the Hortonworks DataPlane Service (DPS) excels. Think of it as a fabric that flows across multiple sources and provides your business with the awareness it needs to demystify global data management.
DPS allows IT decision-makers to register data sources and build a strong sense of information held across the business. Services also include key security elements, allowing decision-makers to maximize their existing information security policies and define who can access data from which sources and when.
IT decision-makers can benefit from the creation of the core foundations from which detailed analytical capability can be built. An infrastructure using these capabilities gives your organization the ability to add elements that allow your employees to create sharper insights.
The key, first and foremost, is to use and leverage open source technologies. You’ll also want to architect them as a platform so that services are delivered on top of a set of shared capabilities. Then you’ll want to begin the building blocks such as a data lifecycle manager. This specialist tool allows organizations to move and replicate information between data centers. For example, if your main facility on the West Coast goes down, your backup facility on the East Coast can be up and running quickly. In short, a data lifecycle manager provides replication and recovery capabilities for the digital business.
Another key building block should be a data steward studio. This tool uses metadata to provide governance and trust, enabling your organization to establish where data comes from, how it was created, and when and by whom it was last accessed. As these extensible services are added, the result is a foundation for effective data management.
As you embark on the journey to manage data effectively across locations and organizations, look for a partner that has a strong track record of developing open source solutions. That way, you can continue to benefit from the continuous innovation that 100 percent open source solutions can provide and you’re not locked into a solution from a single vendor. With the right foundations applied to diverse data environments, your business can be on its way to creating a competitive advantage through insights.
Learn more about global data management to help your business thrive.