Here’s why big data is literally the heartbeat of digital enterprises

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Big data is to enterprises what the heartbeat is to humans: it’s essential to staying alive and healthy, and if it stops, you’re in big trouble

The human heart beats more than 100,000 times daily and close to 40 million times per year — chalking up three billion heartbeats in a person’s lifetime. Much like the human heart, data is what keeps the digital and customer-led economy pumping.

Studies have shown that companies utilizing data-driven insights to make strategic decisions have improved their productivity by up to 33% [PDF]. At the same time, the big data and analytics market has exceeded IDC’s predictions by over 50% with the analyst group now expecting to see worldwide revenues reach nearly $187 billion by 2019.

The writing is on the wall – businesses need to leverage data to conquer today’s disruptive age and stay ahead of the curve. CEOs know this, but the question that is keeping them up at night is: how?

Volumes of data: beating through the body’s engine room

In our digital economy, the volume of data will continue to grow. The pace of growth will also continue to accelerate rapidly. Just like a heartbeat, a steady stream of data flows through businesses, providing the necessary insights for business and decision making.

Data pools are just like the chambers in our hearts where data is crunched and useful information can be extracted – the same way the heart oxygenates and distributes blood throughout the human body. Data must be analyzed by companies to transform it into useful information they can then use to make smart, impactful business decisions. The ability to manage this massive flow of data, as it grows in volume, is pertinent to keep businesses running.

Variety of data: extracting life-sustaining information

According to IDC, analysts are set to achieve an additional $430 billion in productivity gains over their less analytically oriented peers 2020 [PDF] – pointing to the tangible results that businesses experience when they embrace data analytics to derive information-led insights. Think of it as data receiving oxygen, much like how blood distributes and carries that life-giving element to the rest of the body.

But before data can be put together into insights, it must be extracted from the company’s various departmental data pools. Before reaching other parts of the body, blood vessels must first gather and bring blood to the heart to receive oxygen – much like how a vast variety of information is centralized and passed through the boardroom, having been extracted from. This information is then “oxygenated” and enhanced with relevant insights that allows for better business decisions.

The problem is this – enterprise data is not uniform. Today, the variety of enterprise data – its format, how it is stored, where it is stored and how it is accessed – presents a daunting challenge to one and all. How do you make sense of it all?

As businesses move towards a hybrid IT infrastructure environment, the management of data becomes more complex. With thousands of apps, users, processes and regulations, the time for businesses to re-think their data strategy is now.

Velocity of well-managed data: running through my veins

Once valuable insights from data are extracted, they can then be pumped to the different parts of the company to improve profitability and operational efficiency. The speed at which these data insights are pumped through the business will depend on how deeply and quickly leaders across the company embrace a data-first culture.

Ultimately, a leadership team and a workforce that fully embodies a data-first mentality and approach will drive innovation across all parts of the company. Where do you begin? Equip staff to embrace a data-driven economy by providing right data skills, the necessary IT infrastructure, and thorough health checks to keep data safe. All this will help mitigate the losses that come with data leaks and mismanagement which often accompany poorly thought-out data strategies.

Data as the heartbeat of businesses: eat your vitamins, schedule your vaccinations

Given how important the integrity of data is to a company’s survival, it is crucial to data protection strategies – much like preventive scans and blood tests for us – be put in place to reduce any potential downtime, loss of productivity and avoid business fatality.

With enterprise data now existing in a wide range of locations, file types and recovery modes, there is an even greater need for companies to rethink their data strategy. After all, the heartbeat of your company cannot stop.

Owen Taraniuk, vice president of Asia Pacific at CommvaultWritten by Owen Taraniuk, vice president of Asia Pacific at Commvault

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