Data: An Organisation’s One Source of Truth

Commvault's 'Activate Your Data' series went to Melbourne where we discussed what it takes to be a data expert.

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At Commvault we’re data experts, but instead of showcasing our business value via our solutions, I decided to take a roundabout approach and showcase the value that data is having on Commvault as an organisation.

I explored how Commvault uses data, and what it meant to the end user and customer. Using different business examples to present the change data has had on our organisation, it was great to see the relevance for the audience as they discussed some of our findings.

Presenting to the audience and engaging in following discussions, here are four talking points I took away…

Use Data to Find One Source of Truth

Enterprise operations are complicated. Often an organisation has been born from the integration of multiple organisations, there is a lot of legacy in systems and process.

Managing data well can reduce this confusion and bring in a much needed reality. One example I discussed with an attendee was that their organisation used a master data set to realise that one of their key accounts had 17 different account managers. Not only is that unproductive, it showcases how siloed information is and the lack of complete oversight management can have.

At Commvault we have an implementation of a Commvault ‘commcell’ we call our ‘Forever Cell’.  This acts as the major index of all of our company information. This allows us to manage the ‘proliferation of data’ within our business, something we’ve been strongly focused on since our inception.

In a sense, we are data experts, and we help our customers become experts with their data.

“What’s in it for me!”

If you want to build a culture of caring about data and realising it as an asset, you need to build a culture of people who care about data.

What I’ve found though, is that no one will care about the data they create, unless there is value in it for them. This is why so many systems and SaaS applications don’t work, the tools are there for management to manage, not to enhance the end-users experience.

So when embarking on a data program, you have to think about the success the data might have on the entire company. Sell the success, feed the utility back, and you’ll see a different approach to data from people within your organisation.

Talk Security: Talk Location

We are living in a world of multiple infrastructure environments, cloud, hybrid, and private infrastructure all have their roles to play.

On top of this challenge is the security one. As data grows and customer information becomes more valuable, IT executives are being charged with ensuring customer and company information is safe. As one person asked me, how is this possible?

It’s quite a challenge. And one that involves building up an IT ecosystem that you trust.  From mine and Commvault’s perspective however, a lot of it comes down to knowing where information is.

If you’ve got data in multiple systems, it’s impossible to secure it in separate silos. You need the ability to know what data is where at the drop of a hat, and act accordingly.

Data: Where Business Meets IT

Data is going to be at the heart of the business for the indefinite future. As technologies like AI and machine learning take hold, data will need to be the foundation for innovation.

Data gives both business and IT the opportunity to connect and engage about what’s important for the organisation. This was a key element I concluded on when exploring this subject matter with the group and something that all technology and business leaders should be aware of.

Without business knowledge and context, data is just a bunch of “One’s and Zero’s”.  With business knowledge and context, data is the foundation of great business decisions.