Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Pat Romanski, Zakia Bouachraoui, Elizabeth White, William Schmarzo, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, Microservices Expo

Containers Expo Blog: Article

How Data Virtualization Delivers Business Agility – Part 1

Make decisions faster based on complete, high-quality actionable information

Enterprise adoption of data virtualization has accelerated along with a growing need for greater business agility.

The close relationship of business agility and data virtualization was described in my recent Virtualization Magazine article, The Agile Business - Why Data Virtualization Is Needed.

It can also be observed across hundreds of organizations and is clearly evident in the ten case studies described in the recently published Data Virtualization: Going Beyond Traditional Data Integration to Achieve Business Agility.

Three Elements of Business Agility
In their quest to become agile businesses, these organizations address all three elements of business agility: business decision agility, time-to-solution agility and resource agility.

This article addresses how data virtualization delivers business decision agility. Part 2 and Part 3 will address time-to-solution agility and resource agility.

Agile Business Decisions Are Key
Making effective business decisions requires knowledge and insight that can only be developed from access to and analysis of complete, high-quality actionable information. Data virtualization enables the organization to deliver this information in several ways.

Complete Information
Understanding the complete picture is the first step in any decision process. Large enterprises today have thousands of data sources that span multiple transaction systems of record, complementary applications, consolidated data stores, external data sources and more. Each source is a silo with its own unique metadata and data model, data access toolset, and underlying architecture.

The challenge is to integrate data across these traditional silos in order to provide the business user with a single, complete and high-level view of whatever information is needed for analysis and decision making.

Taking this concept to the enterprise level, data virtualization has the ability to provide an organization with a unified view of information across the entire business.

One traditional solution is to consolidate all of the data in a unified, enterprise data warehouse. However, this does not always prove feasible in practice for a number of reasons, including the ongoing proliferation of new data sources and types that must be incorporated into the warehouse.

As an alternative, data virtualization offers virtual data federation functions that enable an organization to integrate its extensive range of internal and external data sources without moving any data. Accessing the data in a new source, for example, simply requires establishing a single connection - from the data virtualization layer to the source - and the creation of virtual views and data services to access, transform, abstract and represent the source data in an appropriate format for consuming applications.

High-Quality Information
Ensuring that the information guiding business decisions is high quality and fit-for-purpose is a second major business decision agility requirement.

It is rare that as-is, raw data in original source systems is an exact match for the consuming application and business user. At a minimum, some degree of format and syntax transformation is required to bridge the gap between source and consumer data models and technologies. In many cases, additional validation and standards-conformance processing is also needed to improve the integrity and consistency of the data delivered to consumers.

Data virtualization supports multiple techniques to ensure delivery of high-quality information. For example, when providing up-to-the-minute, institution-wide views of equity, option, futures, derivative and debt positions for risk managers in the financial services industry, data virtualization transforms the data as structured in the various trading platform sources into a consistent form and format for consumption by the risk management applications.

Actionable Information
Finally, the information decision makers require must be actionable. Time-to-action is an additive function that combines time from event-to-insight, insight-to-decision, decision-to-implementation and implementation-to- results.

Yesterday's data, summarized in the warehouse, is not sufficient when having the most current information is the first step in a time-to-action path. For example, understanding the current location and availability of maintenance staff and repair gear is a critical first step in understanding how to respond to an equipment failure in process industries.

Data virtualization provides high performance query engines and flexible caching to query and deliver source data in near-real time whenever it is requested. This ensures decisions are made based on the most up-to-date information available when appropriate.

Conclusion
Making effective business decisions requires knowledge and insight that can only be developed from access to and analysis of complete, high-quality actionable information.

Data virtualization offers virtual data federation functions that enable an organization to integrate its extensive range of internal and external data sources to provide the business with a complete picture. Further, data virtualization supports multiple techniques to ensure delivery of high-quality information. Finally, data virtualization can query and deliver source data in near-real time whenever it is requested to ensure up-to-date, actionable information.

Editor's Note: Robert Eve is the co-author, along with Judith R. Davis, of Data Virtualization: Going Beyond Traditional Data Integration to Achieve Business Agility, the first book published on the topic of data virtualization.  This series of three articles on How Data Virtualization Delivers Business Agility includes excerpts from the book.

More Stories By Robert Eve

Robert Eve is the EVP of Marketing at Composite Software, the data virtualization gold standard and co-author of Data Virtualization: Going Beyond Traditional Data Integration to Achieve Business Agility. Bob's experience includes executive level roles at leading enterprise software companies such as Mercury Interactive, PeopleSoft, and Oracle. Bob holds a Masters of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science from the University of California at Berkeley.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...