Data Is King: How to Unleash Its Full Potential


If data is king and integration is the glue that binds an enterprise together, then data integration is the building block that can make or break an organization’s ability to remain competitive in today’s disruptive digital landscape.

Think of it this way: data is a strategic business asset. However, many companies struggle to access, manage and leverage these assets in their day-to-day business. Information from emerging technologies remains locked away in fragmented data silos due to difficulties in separating data from its intended original use or application. This means that data is typically captured in the context of a given application or desired use case. But, to unleash the greater potential of such data, data needs to be separated from the original use case, cleansed, formatted and prepared for broader insights. As a result, companies are unable to unleash data’s full potential or provide further business value.

A smart, comprehensive and integrated data strategy can address this challenge. With a united view of data and a plan that is actionable, relevant and reliable, companies are better positioned to develop and enhance products, manage performance and support their customers’ experiences.

The Explosive Growth of Data                             

Adding to the disruption of the digital landscape is the sheer amounts of data companies have access to; according to a recent report, the total volume of data generated by IoT will reach 600 ZB per year by 2020 (Source: Cisco Global Cloud Index). Growth in data access and volume is partly due to the volume of connected devices, but also to the growing sophistication in API build/creation technologies. As a result, it is now very easy to generate API endpoints on data models or persisting the data to various databases or object models. What we do with the insights gained from these new opportunities is reshaping data’s influence on business priorities, investment strategy and competitive advantage. Here’s why:

  • Emerging technologies: The growth of artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile-first initiatives is flooding the digital landscape with more data than ever before. While these devices are beneficial for organizations and consumers alike, they can generate even greater value if we derive analytics and generate insights to complement existing big data strategies. Ultimately, enterprises will have a more united view of their data and be able to extract true value from these new technologies.
  • Data integration: Developing an agile and effective data strategy to weave together data from various technologies is crucial for the success of organizations competing in today’s digital landscape. Data is key to optimize processes, deliver innovative products and delight customers.
  • Data streams: Organizations today are not only competing with their industry peers, but also with emerging technologies and solutions. This poses a great opportunity for organizations to expand their offerings, meet customer needs and source customer data as part of a data ecosystem strategy. It also poses a threat to organizations that don’t have a well-built strategy for weaving together multiple data sources for a full picture of the customer, in which high-value opportunities may be missed and captured by competitors,.

The Nuts and Bolts of Data Integration

A report by Deloitte University Press states that only 15% of respondents from companies at the early stages of digital transformation say that their organizations have a clear and coherent digital strategy, reflecting the importance of robust digital integration strategies.

A winning data integration strategy must be adaptable, agile and scalable. Here’s a closer look at three steps to take your data integration to new heights:

  1. Adaptability: The first step that organizations must take to gain a unified view of their data is to adapt to the various data sources that they are pulling from. Emerging technologies (like AI and IoT) and mobile-driven initiatives present opportunities for organizations to tap into new sets of customer data, but organizations must first be able to adapt to constant change – we live in a tech-driven world and nothing stays the same for too long.

      2. Agility: When technology advancements are moving as quickly as they are today, organizations need to be agile enough to change with                 them, especially when it comes to sourcing relevant data. It’s all about how quickly and efficiently data can be sourced, analyzed and then              turned into an actionable use case to enhance the organization and improve customers’ overall experiences.

      3. Scalability: After sourcing data from multiple technologies, how can an organization use this data to maximize and enhance digital                         development strategies? Measuring the efficiency of data is a key step in the process of creating the most effective digital strategy.

Data is ripe with timely, accurate and consistent information that serves as the backbone for a company. Developing a data integration strategy to access and utilize this data is crucial to ensuring your organization reaches its maximum potential.

      Vince Padua

About the Author: Vince Padua, VP of Platform Innovation, Technology and Design at Axway, is a platform and product executive spanning cloud, mobile, big data, analytics, and artificial intelligence offerings. He is a leader of global product management, design, and GTM teams that consistently delivered outstanding business results.

Edited by Mandi Nowitz

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