Using Stored Data Effectively Requires Rethinking Data Storage

 In Data

Data is generated every moment of the business day. With the trend towards digital transformation and the power of machine learning and data analytics, all of that data has value. Yet despite the ever-increasing amounts of data they store, companies find it difficult to gain the benefits of the data. Data is too scattered, siloed, and unmanaged for companies to effectively leverage the insights it contains.

Reasons Data is Difficult to Utilize

There are several reasons those data challenges arise:

Modern data is unstructured

Lots of modern data is unstructured. It doesn’t comfortably reside within the relational databases businesses are used to working with and supporting. The new, non-relational databases are unfamiliar technology.

Much data is hidden

A lot of the unstructured data isn’t generated through formal systems that are formally managed by the business. It’s contained in emails, forums, spreadsheets, word documents, and other places where data is “owned” by an individual, rather than a process. Some data is in unapproved cloud storage services. This hidden data is impossible to share or properly protect.

Data is siloed

Even data that’s managed is difficult to share. Data exists in multiple locations, in the data center and in the cloud. Data is often localized within departments, and inaccessible to other departments because lack of publicity means others don’t know it exists and lack of permissions prevents access. Without a common data model even for basic concepts such as a customer, it’s difficult to combine data even where it’s accessible. The silos also make developing a storage strategy and planning capacity based on true needs difficult.

Data is massive

In addition to the high volume of data as it’s created, data volume expands through use. There are often multiple copies of data floating around a business. There are production copies, copies created for development and test purposes, copies are created for backup and archival purposes, and more. These identical copies of data create storage needs and make it harder to track data, protect its integrity, and ensure there are appropriate controls.

Data is managed with multiple tools

Different silos are managed independently, with different tools, but even within a silo, there can be multiple tools used for backups and storage management. Organizations can’t protect the data they have effectively because there’s no overall strategy.

Impacts of Data Challenges

Failing to tackle those data challenges impacts businesses in several ways. First, because data can’t be shared and businesses don’t even know all the data they have, analytics projects intended to drive digital transformation don’t have all the input they need. In addition, information security is weakened, because there are too many copies of data in too many unknown places. Finally, productivity is hampered because it’s difficult for software projects to access the data they need to develop and test new releases.

Prescient Solutions’ infrastructure management services can help businesses tackle their data center challenges, including storage issues. Storage management, cybersecurity, and backup strategies ensure data is managed, protected, and accessible in support of business needs. Contact Prescient Solutions to learn more about why you should find better ways to store and manage your growing data.

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