Digital Transformation through Data Democratization

Digital innovators will succeed because enterprise data doesn’t belong to silos and data has immense value, but only if available as a “whole”, to allow full picture of the enterprise rather than short term trends or baseline BI reports.

By Sarab S. Mann.

Digital Transformation

Cloud computing offers Infrastructure as a Service, IaaS, Platform as a Service, PaaS, and Software as a Service, SaaS. Though cloud computing helped corporations in cutting cost, reducing software development cycle and improving productivity, but the success could not transform the fundamental mindset pertaining to data sharing and its usage. Data is still in silos and under the bureaucratic control of individual departments. Capgemini reports that 79 percent of organizations have not fully integrated their data sources across the organization.

Cloud computing

Digital innovators such as Microsoft, Amazon,Google, Netflix harnessing the power of cloud to break down the data silos and able to analyze vast data efficiently.

Digital innovators

A democratization of data is the first step in propelling any organization towards digital transformation path. “Data is the foundation of digital transformation”. According to Constellation research, 87 percent of successful digital transformation projects incorporate an underlying data component. Digital innovators such as Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Netflix harness the power of the cloud to break down data silos and able to analyze the vast data efficiently gaining critical business insights. And these digital innovators are out performing their competitors in every dimension.

With the advent of Big Data – ability to manage vast and disparate data -the landscape of data ecosystem is changing fast. Data lake is a term coined for an infrastructure capable of storing massive data in a raw or “pure” form-the state in which data is acquired-by leveraging big data technology; data such as emails, social media content, video/audio, text is stored as-is basis. Capturing and retaining data in the original form offers tremendous benefits such as unrestricted opportunity to find insights by performing multi-dimensional analysis or/and predictive analysis. The process of cleaning, curating or aggregating data erodes the full potential by limiting the analysis scope.

Big data

Data Lakes or Data Clouds: Data lake is more relevant to a concept of storing data in an “original/pure” form. On the contrary data cloud is more synonyms with clean, cataloged and ready-to-use data. It is conceivable that in the future some data clouds will offer “pure” & raw data and others will offer curated and consumable data.

Organizations can even embark on a bolder model in which data is freely shared among partners for mutual benefits. Data consortium is a viable option; enterprises can forge partnerships in their sectors, such as auto, aerospace, retail, healthcare, and allow free flowing of their non-critical data into data lakes. The members can freely explore data to find new insights.

Data consortium is a viable option; enterprises can forge partnerships in their sectors and allow free flowing of their non critical data into data lakes.

Moreover, the subset of enterprise data can be available to the public or can be monetized by selling. For example, taxi sharing service data can help city planners of a given city to understand the traffic flow. Definitely, execution, forging a relationship and building trust among partners will not be without challenges.

The government has already taken an initiative by launching CMS and Virtual Research Data Center (VRDC). This data portal/cloud will allow researchers or entrepreneurs to access vast amounts of health care data without any restrictions. More data sets are available at

Success of digital innovators and accent of Amazon will be catalyst and turning point for accepting the fact that enterprise data doesn’t belong to silos and the data is a commodity of immense value, but only if the data is available as a “whole”, in an “original/pure” form, which can help in constructing holistic picture rather than short term trends or BI reports showing baseline information.

Original. Reposted with permission.

Bio: Sarab S. Mann, MBA is a Digital Transformation Consultant.