It seems like I can’t look at a tech or business publication these days without reading about digital transformation and the value of data. It wasn’t long ago, though, that most companies didn’t see data as a valuable asset. Oh, how times have changed.
Pure Storage completed a recent survey that found that most companies in the UK now think their data is more valuable than their employees.1 And with a third of the top 20 businesses in any industry estimated to experience digital disruption by 2018 — next year — that might be a good thing; at least for the survival of the businesses, if not for employee morale.2
It’s no secret that data is valuable. If we have any doubt, we can look at the 2016 purchase of LinkedIn by Microsoft. In the purchase, Microsoft basically paid the equivalent of $260 per month for each user’s data (based on a total price of $26.2 billion and 100 million active users).3 And while in 2006, oil and energy companies sat at the top of the world’s most valuable firms, last year, the list was topped by Alphabet (Google’s parent company), Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft.3
If your company isn’t Apple or Amazon, though, digital transformation can be daunting. You know you need to get there, and you might be on your way, but the journey can feel intrusive to normal business activities. It doesn’t have to though. Chances are you’ve already started your journey.
And, as with many business and IT projects; getting there can be as simple as breaking the process down into smaller projects. To that end, let’s consider a three-step approach to increasing the value of your data, especially data stored in Oracle® databases.
Pretty much every company has and is already using operational data to track and use information or to process transactions. Operational data is the structured data about your workforce, direct competitors, creditors, suppliers, and customers often stored in relational Oracle databases. Congratulations! You’re already on your way to increasing data value.
When you add modern data warehousing to your data ecosystem, you can integrate current and historical data of multiple types — structured, semi-structured, and unstructured — from multiple sources, including your operational data, for deeper analysis. You can begin to see trends and opportunities. This is the foundation of digital transformation.
Adding advanced analytics comes next. Advanced analytics isn’t big data. It’s doing predictive analytics facilitated by machine learning on big data. It’s finding patterns to automatically address customer and business needs and to be disruptive in your industry. It’s how Amazon and Netflix seem to magically make the right recommendations to their users.
Underlying every one of these steps are data pipelines that clean, transform, and merge the data coming into the data ecosystem. There are also the applications and solutions used to store and analyze data along with the right infrastructure to support those applications and tools.
The right infrastructure includes the Pure Storage Data Platform for the Cloud Era. Why? Put simply, the platform offers the data storage services — block, VM, file, or object — needed to consolidate databases, virtual machines, analytics, or webscale IT. It also delivers:
And because all the components of the platform are compatible, you can start with what you need today — whether for a given capacity or a given step in the journey — and expand as your journey and needs progress.
That’s a high-level look at a step-by-step approach to increasing the value of your Oracle data. For more details:
1City A.M. “Is Your Greatest Asset People, or Data?” October 2017. www.cityam.com/273261/your-greatest-asset-people-data.
2Clark, Tim. “Think Digital Transformation Doesn’t Matter? Your Customers Beg to Differ.” SAP Business Trends. May 2016. https://blogs.sap.com/2016/05/19/think-digital-transformation-doesnt-matter-your-customers-beg-to-differ/.
3World Economic Forum. “The Value of Data.” September 2017. www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/09/the-value-of-data/.
4Pure Storage. “Purity Is Built for Cloud Era Flash.” www.purestorage.com/products/purity.html.