Everyone seems to believe that data is by far the most important commodity in the 21st century economy, though few seem willing to invest in the protection, quality, and proper use of the immensely lucrative information. As a matter of fact, almost nothing has held back our economy more than mass data fragmentation, or the widespread dispersal of data into unconcentrated, undetailed pools where it fails to live up to its true business potential.
Here’s how mass fragmentation is holding your company back, and what steps you can take to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your data.
Data is only useful if it’s accessible
Like gold or oil reserves stuck miles below the ground, the commodity of data is only useful if it is accessible to your business. While many justifiably point to the ongoing information technology boom and say that it’s unleashed a new era of making clever use of data, it’s really a matter of fact that our economy is getting increasingly fragmented by the day.
Mass fragmentation is the process whereby most of the economy's data has become dispersed amongst its many actors, with individual companies and professionals hoarding information to themselves if they think their competitors could make better use of it.
This kind of mass fragmentation may be seriously holding our economy back and is likely handicapping your company’s growth potential. IT leaders who were surveyed about the impact of mass data fragmentation noted that decision-making processes were grossly handicapped by the lack of access to comprehensive data, for instance, with nearly all of them noting that fragmented data sources are insecure and begging to be exploited by outside attackers.
If you are one of the countless business owners constantly finding themselves bombarded by messages about how crucial data is to contemporary success, it is worth asking yourself if you are relying on fragmented sources of information that don’t tell you the whole story. You need to instead rely on comprehensive sources of information like data lakes, which contain vastly larger sums of information of a much purer and more leverageable quality.
How to tap into the power of data
If you are seriously invested in tapping into the power of data, then here are some first steps to follow:
First and foremost, run an audit of your business with insurance groups to determine where data fragmentation is harming you the most, an inability to determine where your decision-making process is getting held up by a lack of data purity is often the defining aspect of a business owner who cannot make good use of data. Learning how to handle your fragmented data more effectively is only part of the journey towards effectively making use of the information you have at hand.
To really make progress, you will need to start shifting your long-term operations so that they rely on "pure" sources of information like a data lake. You cannot see the big picture if you’re relying on your own information and only your own information, what your competitors may have could be crucial towards your success. As you will soon come to see, the rise of the data lake in the realm of marketing aims to solve the issue of getting two competitors to coordinate their actions with one another.
Don’t fool yourself into thinking your company is succeeding when you’re still relying on fragmented data. An inability to see the big picture is going to cost in the long-term, making it more important now than ever before for business owners to embrace centralized sources of data.