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TDWI Upside - Where Data Means Business

3 Ways Data Management Will Impact Business Success This Year

Data management can dramatically contribute to your enterprise's success in 2021 in these three important ways.

This year, the data management strategies that companies adopt at the organizational level will impact performance for the rest of the decade. The decisions data teams make about data operations, infrastructure, and personnel at an organization level will determine the success of many business objectives.

For Further Reading:

Executive Perspective: DataOps in Volatile Times

Adopting Agility for DataOps 

Best Practices for Data Management with DataOps

Here are three ways data management will have an impact on organizations in 2021.

Impact #1: Data management will produce ROI throughout the entire organization

As data management moves toward software-as-a-service (SaaS) and away from technically intensive systems, data will become more organizationally accessible. Companies with strong data cultures will empower employees to reach new levels of productivity and efficiency.

The benefits of building a data-driven company are well-documented. According to a study by MIT and the University of Pennsylvania, companies that foster data-driven decision making have experienced a 5 to 6 percent boost in output and productivity. The current landscape offers even more potential. The ease of use and power of today's BI and analytics platforms, when paired with big data, enable stakeholders across an organization to generate unprecedented insights.

However, to achieve this ROI, a company's data must be seamlessly accessible to everyone across the organization. That's why data democratization -- making data accessible to non-technical employees without requiring IT assistance -- will be so critical in 2021. For companies to dominate this decade, they must enact organizationwide data democratization so any team member can access the right data at the right time.

To effectuate data democratization, companies must accomplish two priorities. The first is building the technical infrastructure to deliver data across an organization. The second is equipping end users with the necessary skills to realize the full potential of the data. By merging these two projects into a holistic approach, companies can get the right data to any employee and ensure that the employee can make the most of that data.

Impact #2: DataOps will unlock the power of data across an organization

When companies construct data infrastructure, they often fail to build scalable or responsive architectures. This is not necessarily because the associated technologies are incapable of modification or scaling. It's more likely that the system as a whole, not just the technology -- but also the processes, protocols, and personnel -- are not optimized as an integrated unit. To deliver the data employees need quickly and efficiently, organizations will turn to DataOps in 2021.

Based on the principles of DevOps, DataOps applies agile development to data analytics and operations. DataOps combines technologies, processes, and protocols to streamline the end-to-end delivery of data to stakeholders within an organization, regardless of team or technical proficiency. The methodology relies on communication between the data team and employees to continuously improve the systems and methods of data delivery throughout an enterprise.

Organizations that adopt DataOps in 2021 will be well-positioned for the coming data democratization revolution. By fostering an iterative relationship between data teams and data consumers, DataOps enables data teams to continually supply employees with the data they need when they need it.

In terms of tools, top SaaS platforms are now capable of managing every stage of the DataOps cycle, from building workspaces for teams and provisioning users to producing test environments and deploying data operations. The need, the process, and the technology have all converged. DataOps is primed to drive data democratization across organizations in 2021.

Impact #3: Data literacy training will help employees harness the full potential of your data

Supplying employees with the right data and analytics is just the first step. For the data to generate value, employees must understand how to interpret and operationalize it. That's where data literacy comes in. Data literacy is the ability to read, understand, create, and communicate data. No matter how amazing the DataOps process, employees can't generate value out of the data if they lack the capacity to do so.

In 2021, data literacy issues will continue to grow as data moves from the traditional realm of the data and analytics teams and into the hands of diverse stakeholders. Companies that want to reap the rewards of data democratization must ensure that employees are translating data into business wins. Data literacy has a strong correlation with corporate performance, and this trend will only become more pronounced in 2021.

Even developed countries continue to lag in data literacy. For instance, the U.S. ranked 21st out of 23 countries in a data literacy assessment performed by the Nation Center for Education Statistics (NCES). However, over the past several years, robust data literacy programs and academies have emerged to serve workforces, including Bloomberg, Guardian Insurance, and Adobe. The organizations most serious about data democratization will invest in data literacy programs.

Organizations Will Lay the Data Groundwork for the Rest of the Decade in 2021

For many organizations, 2021 is a year to develop firm footing for the rest of the decade. As the 2020s progress, advances in data management will enable many employees to harness data like never before. However, this utopia of data democratization will not simply appear on its own. Organizations must merge methods such as DataOps with institutional data literacy to maximize the impact of data.

About the Author

Itamar Ben Hamo is co-founder and CEO at Rivery, a DataOps platform that streamlines data integration, transformation, and orchestration. A seasoned business executive, Ben Hamo was co-founder and CEO of Vision.BI, a leading data consulting firm acquired by Keyrus Group. At Keyrus, Ben Hamo was founder and group vice president for North America. You can reach Ben Hamo on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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