Why we must make data as accessible as water or electricity

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Data drives the modern world. Organizations of all kinds depend on massive, fast-growing, and evolving data sets to deliver smarter services and drive business growth. Given its importance and ubiquity, data should be treated as a utility, just like water, gas, and electricity. But how do we achieve this?

We have all become hyper-aware that data needs to be readily available, relevant, and easy to tap into for everyone as we plan to keep up with the current rate of data and technology evolution. In this article, we’ll explore how by leveraging open source databases, data integration, and modern data management tools, organizations can use and consume data as if it were a utility.

Accessible data and data democratization

Public services are easy and accessible to all. He flips a switch and the light comes on, he turns on a faucet and water comes out. The data must be equally accessible and reliable. This need has led to the much-discussed democratization of data to enable the ubiquity of business intelligence and the rise of AI in the enterprise.

The first step in the process is the adoption of open source technology, which helps democratize and lower the barrier to entry for the use of technologies while improving their quality and reliability. Democratization is the idea that everyone can use and benefit from a particular resource. Like energy, open source projects are accessible to everyone, and the community controls which direction those projects go, determining what features will be added and what use cases will be supported.

However, before organizations can begin to benefit from open source technology, business leaders must determine what their business needs most. That could be scalability, availability, security, or a combination of all of these. Answering this question is the first step in successfully leveraging open source and choosing technologies that simultaneously meet the needs of the organization.

Accessible data: durable databases provide easy access to data

Data accessibility is perhaps the most critical factor in treating data as a utility. Powerful and modern databases will play a central role in supporting that accessibility. To enable it, and to ensure that organizations can easily derive value from all their data, emerging database technology must employ the following:

  • Hybrid Transaction/Analytical Processing (HTAP) architecture: HTAP database technology supports real-time situational awareness and decision-making on live transactional data and removes potential friction between IT and business goals.
  • Cloud native architecture: Cloud-native databases provide greater agility, scalability, reliability, and availability compared to traditional databases.

A combination of the two (cloud-native HTAP databases) will be particularly important for any organization, for example in the e-commerce and finance industries, which must support large numbers of customer transactions and volumes of data in rapid succession. expansion while they have to create new applications. to deliver new services.

Data integration improves business results

Another step in making data work as a utility is to allow it to support specific business purposes. For example, organizations can streamline processes through data integration (or data sharing). From compiling more relevant data and generating stronger data and analytics to solving business challenges and accelerating the path to business goals, data sharing keeps the wheels turning.

According to Gartner’s Sixth Annual Survey of Chief Data Officers, data sharing is a key business performance indicator that reflects effective engagement and the true business value of data. In fact, data integration allows systems to extract knowledge and information from structured and unstructured data, turning existing data into knowledge that can be converted into actionable information, thus optimizing processes.

Organizations need to break down silos to achieve complete data integration. To do that, they must use a database that can provide a unified view of transactional and analytical data.

The role of data management tools

To build a culture with a data-sharing mindset, organizations must adopt management tools that enable team collaboration and productivity. Leaders need to be aware that as responsibility for data grows, so does the pressure to make it accessible across organizations. Data management tools provide the “glue” to enable data sharing in an organization and ultimately ensure that this transformation becomes a reality.

Working to make data a utility

Businesses and organizations of all types and sizes are increasingly relying on data to deliver new products and services. To drive continuous innovation and greater efficiency, data needs to be even easier to access and use. This means treating it as a utility. Making data a fundamental element required for the functioning of any modern organization.

Open source databases, data integration, and data management tools will be critical to this transition. Let’s start.

Max Liu is CEO and co-founder of PingCAP.

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