Why Extracting Value From Data Will Get Tougher

In a world where almost everything is being transformed into a digital data point—and the volume, velocity and variety (3Vs) of data expand at a seemingly exponential rate—it’s apparent that the ability to govern big data increasingly separates winners and losers.

A newly released study conducted by Pentaho, a Hitachi Services Company, in association with Forrester Research, found that extracting value from data is about to get a whole lot tougher, thanks in part to the Internet of things. It also identified marked differences between so-called “pacers” and “chasers” in regard to data governance and keeping up with business needs. The study of U.S. and U.K. enterprises found that the market leaders focused on data governance, interoperability and flexibility.

In addition, there’s a need to better differentiate data and governance methods. This may seem like Data Science 101 to CIOs and other enterprise leaders, but executing on the concept is difficult.

Respondents noted that on-premises transactional data receives the most attention, with 53 percent of organizations taking a “highly governed” approach. Meanwhile, big data, external transactions and cloud sources are “highly governed” at about 45 percent of organizations. Unfortunately, customer data that contributes to an organization’s strategic and growth objectives is still in a relatively chaotic state, with only 35 percent at a “high governance” level.

None of these numbers are particularly impressive but the latter statistic is downright unsettling. It’s nearly impossible to operate at digital speed and make well-informed decisions with obsolete data governance models. This, in turn, ripples further into the enterprise and out to partners and customers by undermining competitiveness and the sabotaging the customer experience.

Another interesting finding is that data governance professionals currently prioritize operations and risk over reward. The vast majority of data governance professionals have enabled one or more operations or risk capabilities—91 percent and 82 percent, respectively. By contrast, only 50 percent use analytics for business growth purposes such as customer sentiment analysis, partner incentive programs, or cross-sell/upsell recommendations.

The situation isn’t going to get any easier in the months and years ahead. As the Internet of things takes hold and data volumes explode, the breadth and diversity of data will require new standards, approaches and methods.

“Big data and the Internet of things are disrupting entire markets, with machine data merging the virtual world with the physical world. We’ve really only just scratched the surface of how IoT will reshape sectors of the economy,” said Quentin Gallivan, CIO at Pentaho.

Samuel Greengard
Samuel Greengard
Samuel Greengard writes about business, technology and other topics. His book, The Internet of Things (MIT Press) was released in the spring of 2015.

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