Make the most of your data: with the right data fabric and implementation partner

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“Data in the 21st century is like oil in the 18th century: an immensely untapped valuable asset. Like oil, for those who see data’s fundamental value and learn to extract and use it, there will be huge rewards.”

That was Wired magazine writing in 2014, some eight years after the phrase “data is the new oil” was reportedly coined by the architect of a UK supermarket chain’s rewards program.

In the years since, the value of data has been well recognised and increased in line with a huge increase in data volumes and the increasing use and sophistication of data analysis technologies and artificial intelligence.

According to Statista, the volume of data / information created, captured, copied and consumed worldwide has risen thirty times in two decades: from two zettabytes in 2010 to 59 zettabytes in 2020, and is predicted to double by 2024 to 149 zettabytes.

As more and more people live their lives online: shopping, interacting with their friends and relatives, consuming content, they generate enormous amounts of data that can be analysed to gain valuable insights and personal preferences.

With the rapid growth of the Internet of Things, enormous amounts of data about the environment, machinery, and much more are being made available and adequately analysed can yield valuable insights.

For example, you can optimize and improve processes in industry and agriculture, such as optimizing irrigation on a farm or predicting machine failure. And much more.

However, it is one thing to analyse homogeneous data from a single source, such as a vibration sensor on a machine, in order to gain valuable insights. It is much more difficult to gain insights by analysing data from several different sources that could, for example, relate to customer behaviour and purchasing history.

Data, like oil, is not much used in crude form: skills and technology are needed to meet the challenges of refining and extracting value from it.

In the case of data, these challenges are: data must be accurate, up-to-date, accessible and clean (i.e. standardized, free of duplication and redundancy). In other words, for maximum value to be extracted from data it must be trusted, complete and unduplicated. There needs to be a single source of truth. Without the right technology, achieving this single source of truth can be complex, time-consuming and costly.

In every business, valuable data comes from many sources: sales figures, customer information, inventory and more. And today, with the growing use of cloud computing services, which could provide valuable insights through the use of data analytics, they could be spread across the private, public, hybrid cloud. There may be little correlation between location of datasets and usefulness for analysis.

Consolidating these multiple data sources into a single dataset, correlating data in different systems that correspond to the same entity or event, can be costly. It often requires manual intervention, which takes time, which means that the consolidated data is never up to date.

Take Snowflake as an example, you are now a cloud native, you have endless scale options, and now you want to become more data driven. Stop. You have a problem. The readiness that SnowFlake expects of your data does not exist in your organization. Sure, it works well on Wikipedia data and perfectly prepared datasets, but your data does not look like that.

These challenges have led to the rise of data fabrics. A data fabric brings together disparate data sources in multiple locations to provide integrated management and access to that data, in real time. Gartner identified data fabrics as one of its top 10 technologies in 2019.

CluedIn, is a new data fabric solution and was named a Cool Vendor by Gartner in 2020. It is represented around the world by implementation partners: experienced integration experts like 4impact, a CluedIn implementation partner for APAC.

CluedIn has re-invented data management to develop a platform that streamlines the process for creating trusted data, that is ready to use.

CluedIn is also a next-gen data management platform that prepares and delivers consolidated (and trusted) data that can easily be pushed to any system or reporting tool.

By providing a single platform that helps accelerate data initiatives, CluedIn eliminates data bottlenecks and raise data quality. It enables an organisation to break down the information silos that prevent it from making full use of all its stored knowledge. CluedIn streamlines and automates the cleansing, integration, and preparation of company data into a unified data fabric.

Microsoft recommends CluedIn as the solution for Master Data Management on Azure.

Microsoft says CluedIn encapsulates data management processes and pillars — discovery, integration, normalisation, standardisation and harmonisation into “a coherent, consistent, end-to-end master data management solution [using] a data integration technique called eventual connectivity that yields better results than classic extract, transform, load or extract, load, transform models.”

4impact also partners with Microsoft: it is a Silver Competency member of the Microsoft Partner Network.

As a partner of both CluedIn and Microsoft, 4impact is ideally placed to help organisations extract maximum value from their data. Unlike many of its competitors who execute on a template or fixed structure, 4impact focuses on being flexible and tailoring its offerings to suit clients’ needs (from recruitment through to execution).

4impact’s certified CluedIn consultants can assist with the implementation of CluedIn, including data integration, data governance and customer capability uplift.

Using CluedIn, 4impact can help consolidate and transform structured and un-structured data from disparate systems into accessible, accurate and trusted data for a fraction of the cost of traditional data management solutions.

And if clients need skilled staff in-house to analyse and extract value from their data, 4impact can help with that too, through its human resources division, 4impact Careers. Over the years, it has developed enormous expertise matching people to roles.

4impact Careers can provide specialists with the full gamut of data skills: data analysts, business intelligence developers, data engineers, data scientists, information architects and data integration architects.

Valuing relationships with consultants, clients, and suppliers, 4impact believes people lie at the heart of technology, and its focus is on delivering people-centric technology solutions.

What are your data challenges? There are hundreds of use cases that 4impact and CluedIn can assist with. Contact 4impact today and discover how it can help you overcome your data challenges, and extract maximum value from your data to take your business forward.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.