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February 14, 2020updated 05 Mar 2020 1:30pm

DataOps: Turning Your Business into a Wealthy Data Democracy

"This is about data management for the AI era"

By CBR Staff Writer

PROMOTED – Many businesses have tried to generate value from their data. Many have succeeded: some narrowly, some broadly. Many have also failed: running up against the constraints of timid leadership, poor data quality, or compliance concerns.

Yet as we enter an era in which the opportunities afforded by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can truly no longer be ignored, enterprises across industry verticals are exploring how they liberate their data from data siloes and data swamps to put it to work generating value, driving innovation and underpinning insight.

How DataOps Can Help on This Journey

DataOps, a methodology championed by Hitachi Vantara, could be one of the clearer paths forward: it marries technological and cultural changes to improve organisation’s use of data through better data quality, shorter cycle time and superior data management – while remaining agnostic on the precise applications deployed.

DataOps is based on the understanding that large data hubs over the last 25 years (e.g., data warehouses, master data management, data lakes, Hadoop, Salesforce and ERP) have all too often resulted in more data silos that are not easily understood, related, or shared, and more crucially, simply aren’t business-focused, or accessible.

As Hitachi Vantara’s Hanna Brun told Computer Business Review: “This is about data management for the AI era; automating processes that enable the right people to get the right data in the right place at the right time. But most importantly, in a secure way.

What, practically, does this mean for companies looking to adopt the approach?

Mine a Rich SEAM of Data

Hitachi Vantara touts what it describes as the SEAM approach: store, enrich, activate, and monetise: protecting data at the lowest cost and at the right service; enriching data with metadata classification and cataloging to provide context; activating by using analytics to generate actionable insights, and monetising by providing outcomes that capture the full economic value of all the data inside customers’ enterprise and beyond.

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Among those to have taken advantage is Swedish biotechnology company Viranova, which worked with Hitachi to bring new medications to market quickly and safely through design technology with automated analysis. By taking a DataOps approach, the company was able to make recommendations that helped this customer make faster, better decisions to ensure product quality and efficacy.

Viranova was also able to enhance their infrastructure, optimize operations, and streamline and accelerate the development process of new biological drugs for the wider pharmaceutical industry.

Brun told Computer Business Review: “It’s important to choose a disciplined approach to ensure repeatability of success. So this starts with talking to clients about what they want to achieve, and why… I’ve met many clients who feel that their data lake has turned into a data swamp and that they are lacking the pathway to unlocking value. Often this means starting small, with one use case, and proving you are unlocking value.

She added: “This will create appetite for more. You need advocates internally to be able to proceed to the next use case, and of course compliance is always a priority for clients: it’s very costly to not follow rules like GDPR…”

Pushed on what software or applications Hitachi Vantara encourages, she said: “We work with whatever ecosystem generates synergies for our clients. And it is important to remember that data is not the most important asset to have. It starts with the people. Without the right people taking the right decisions based on the data, you don’t get far.

“You need a data culture, strong data behaviour. If you throw garbage into the river upstream, you cannot drink clean water downstream, right? And if you are building your ‘truth machine’ then you need to trust your data. Good data behaviour needs to start at the top: walk the talk… trust data and take decisions on it. Executives need to lead the way, but they also need to trust that their data is of good quality, searchable and compliant.”

“DataOps is about making data accessible for everyone in your company. We are operating in a data democracy. And I think at Hitachi Vantara we’re very much ‘drinking our own champagne’ on this; that means that we really use the strengths in the data to get access to insight we can put to work from from the client’s perspective.

“That is the essence of DataOps: it unleashes insight that you can work with.”

To learn more about DataOps, click here.


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