Activating Data: a Game of Efficiency and Utility

Insights into the power of data management and its role in the IT function.

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Is managing data getting easier or more difficult?

Chris Gondek, Commvault

“The simple answer is it’s getting harder. Saying this, technology is not sitting still and it’s also becoming easier. We now have new ways to manage volume and velocity of data,” said Andre Mullan, CEO of Luxar and former Global Technology Lead in Inpex at OmniChannel Media and Commvault’s recent “Activate Your Data” series, in Perth last week.

Mullan was a part of a Q&A panel that also featured Commvault’s Principle Architect, Chris Gondek. The Q&A explored the new role of data within enterprise and how “the business” should be looking at data as a utility, as opposed to a liability.

When asked about the ease in which data can now be managed, both panellists agreed that although there is an increase in data available that must be sifted through, technology is in some ways making it easier.

Gondek also explored this challenge within the context of the “Big Data” revolution. He noted that data management revolved around the “3 V’s”: Velocity, Volume and Variety. However, there is often a forgotten V that few organisations take into account.

Value.

“One of the areas that needed to come out [from the 3 V’s] is the value of data. How do you determine and extract that data value?”

Gondek suggests the answer lies in the IT function of an organisation, as they have a two-part role to both decipher whether data is useful and ensure existing data is correctly managed.

“Definitely the IT function needs to ensure that the data is being managed properly because we need to protect ourselves from threats and data loss scenarios. At the same time, with businesses driving IT to get more value, activating the data sets and getting the intelligence out of it for better business decisions and business insights help IT get its values up the chains,” Gondek explained.

Chris Gondek and Andre Mullan

Gondek also explored the importance of data visualisation, saying that good data visualisation and search tools can assist the IT function in ensuring a critical level of oversight throughout the business.

“As more and more areas of your business are accessing data for its value, it is critical for organisations to think about visualisation as well as search.”

What does activate your data actually mean?

“I’ve been in IT for 20 years, I’ve seen more changes in the last 5 years, than in the entire 20 years put together. We now have cloud-first strategies, mobile-first initiatives, this is where the data strategy is going to, it’s no longer in the back office,” Gondek noted.

“This is the new complexity of data, and the new environment in which we are managing data in. To top this off, in some instances and organisations, the data is the lifeblood of the business.”

Gondek noted that he felt “activating your data” revolves around the idea of responding to this changing environment and enabling your business with the right tools to take advantage of the efficiencies that data management technology can provide, as well as the value that good business insights can offer an enterprise.

Ultimately, the discussion revealed that data can no longer be an underrated element of the business. As data becomes the major tool in both driving efficiency, as well as a source for commercial gain through developing new commercial avenues, it is critical for organisations to start to take data management seriously.

“Always remember what the “I” in IT stands for. Information. That’s the business technology executives are in, the management of business information,” Mullen concluded.