In our first blog, we saw how data is the new oil of the business engine – but how do you use available data for effective decision making? This requires that we ‘harmonize the data’ with a collaborative approach. Harmonization refers to organizations’ ability to systematically combine the data into a comprehensive view. Consequently, decision-makers achieve an integrated view for improved oversight, accountability and staff effectiveness.
Are we data rich, but insight poor?
Industry pundits and C-level executives affirm that data-driven insight enables transformation plans via actionable insight. Industry Week reports that nearly 100% of enterprises want to become more data-driven, but less than a third have accomplished that goal. Most organizations collect more data, but research indicates that three quarters of the data never makes its way into analytics systems. What’s causing the biggest pain is that organizations are struggling with how to do this at an enterprise-wide scale. Fundamentally, the way data is designed, collected, and stored has not changed from how it was being done ten, 20, or 30 years ago. Typically, data is developed in the context of a specific business initiative and in a specific application.
“Ultimately, data becomes the fuel that helps power multiple use cases or opportunities that the business may want to go after as part of [a digital] transformation.”
-McKinsey Research, May 2019, Managing data as an asset
So, What Distinguishes the Leaders from the Laggards?
The challenges around data are apparent and organizations are beginning to realize the complexities around their data initiatives. What needs to happen is a change in how organizations approach data management. A recent McKinsey study concludes what differentiates the leaders is that they have developed the ability to manage data as an asset across the whole enterprise.
Business analytics represents a major integration and data management challenge. And organizations know that they can’t afford to get wrong. Over 90% of Forrester respondents believed that there are business repercussions of poor integration strategies–including customer attrition, revenue loss and even brand tarnish.
Data harmonization fosters analytics
Proper and effective use of data requires integration and data harmonization. Analytics allows managers to see data in the rear-view mirror, while AI and Machine Learning enables them to predict the future, so they can make hyper-targeted, personalized recommendations. This, in turn, creates a better customer experience and reduces churn.
For this net impact, data must evolve beyond the heterogeneous format to encompass all types of data included and in all sorts of content- audio, video and social media channels. All these different data sets and formats must be brought together and made compatible with one another. Only this level of data harmonization will allow all relevant data to be tagged, linked and presented for analysis.
The Need for an Integration and Data Management Platform
Data Harmonization demands an effective, enterprise-wide integration platform. Fortunately, proven technology is available today. The growth of Data Platform as a Service (dPaaS) offers significant advantages for business analytics. dPaaS is a cloud integration and data management model that helps facilitate data analysis—letting you focus on the achieved insights.
The Forrester report states: “Unified, microservices-based platforms for integration and data management (dPaaS) … help companies focus their integration on strategic priorities rather than on the technical implementation and maintenance of integration.”
Unified integration and data management platforms such as the OpenText™ Alloy™ platform provide the dPaaS functionality required to overcome the data harmonization challenges faced when implementing advanced analytics.
Read all about the integration challenges facing today’s organizations and how they can be solved with proven technology. Download your complimentary copy of Forrester’s Digital Businesses Demand Agile Integration report.