Data Use vs Data Need: What should your business be prioritising?
July 21st, 2020
Wow! 5 years ago I published this article on LinkedIn. Back then the focus of Information Management was very much on transforming an historically IT discipline into a centralised or stand-alone business function to drive value and importance of data within organisations. Now, 5 years on our industry has completely changed again! Let’s take a look…
The term ‘information management’ doesn’t really exist in today’s industry vocabulary. It’s very much a banner term for the individual disciplines like Data Management, BI, Analytics and Data storage / processing, nearly always collectively now known as Data & Analytics. The past 5 years has seen a huge shift in the way data technology is used within organisations and the link between Data and IT is actually more intertwined than ever. Data and analytics delivered as a service with data storage and processing delivered by IT.
Driven by infrastructure evolution with the major cloud providers AWS, Azure and GCP, the need for highly performant databases and the real-time data needs of businesses we’ve reached the ‘products’ and ‘platforms’ era. Data engineering has shifted again to more of a software discipline than it ever has been previously.
There is no real place in todays modern world for packaged single vendor data solutions, organisations seem more open to idea of change than ever before. This has been helped with the rafts of emerging tech in the data space and evolution of opensource data technologies, not to mention the cost saving potential that these solutions provide and the connectivity between them.
It seems the relationship between data & analytics, the business and IT is much more cohesive. Over the past 5 years lots has happened that has brought data into the public domain. GDPR, Data Privacy, IoT / connected homes, smart devices, and Voice assistants have all been so well publicised in recent years that it has put data firmly in the interests of the general population and don’t forget organisational drive for data literacy throughout business allowing access and understanding of data we’ve never seen before.
The emergence of the role of Chief Data Officer (CDO) has added a transformational figure head for data at the most senior level within businesses. This has allowed for data to drive not only business decisions but wider informed transformation programmes too. We see Data & Analytics sitting in operational ares of the business now, providing an outward service internally within organisations.
IT often remain responsible for the build and implementation activities for data and where 5 years ago data may have been low on the IT delivery agenda things are different now. End-user applications all utilise or produce data, the underlying platforms acquire data from multiple sources that must be stored and processed in line with regulatory obligations and business requirements, so it’s no surprise many IT blockers that existed 5 years ago have been removed.
If recruiting for 10 years exclusively in the data and analytics domain has taught me one thing, It’s your people who add the value to you. Technology and data alone will never be enough without the right team behind it. The analysts who ask the right,wrong and probing questions. The engineers who develop solutions to be scalabale, highly performant. and robust. The architects who tie people, technology and processes together. The data management professionals making sure the data is fit for purpose, accurate, consumable, reusable, and consistent. The scientists who prove or disprove hypotheses based on data. The CDO who drives organisational change and improvement and engages business leaders in data journeys.
Who knows, right? We operate in one of the most dynamic and exciting industries out there! For me, here’s some of what to expect:
What do you expect to see in Data & Analytics industry in the next 5 years?
This blog was originally published on LinkedIn. Click here to read the full article