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Data is now a lifeline for companies that wish to remain competitive. In particular, being ‘data-driven’ has become somewhat synonymous with being successful. However, data – specifically, the sheer volume and numerous varieties it comes in – has quickly become too hot for businesses to handle.
Many organisations are facing the conundrum of wanting to action their data, while struggling to overcome the challenges of constant data transmission across multiple information channels. Not only must they tame the never-ending growth of data, but to truly reap the benefits of it, they must work with it in real time (or near real time) for more accurate decision-making.
The challenge lies in the endeavour to get close to all enterprise data in real time, which is easier said than done. Businesses must integrate large, diverse data sources – traditional and new – constantly and instantaneously. However, with so much data siloed across disparate systems, it has outgrown techniques such as replicating data into a central repository. The same goes for cloud, which is also redundant in this endeavour due to the fact that it still establishes independent data silos. To add to the complexity, many organisations are hosting their enterprise data in multiple clouds to reap the benefits of the strength of each cloud provider.
Thus, a revamp of data integration has never been needed more. Fortunately, many businesses are quickly becoming familiar with data virtualisation for providing a modern approach to data integration.
What is data virtualisation?
To better understand data virtualisation, it’s necessary to introduce Denodo. This company is the undisputed leader in data virtualisation and has spearheaded much of what we can do with it today. By their definition, “[d]ata virtualization is a logical data layer that integrates all enterprise data siloed across the disparate systems, manages the unified data for centralized security and governance, and delivers it to business users in real time.”
Offerings such as the Denodo Platform puts the ‘virtual’ in virtualisation by virtually combining all of your data sources, creating a single source of truth. By integrating the data from the many disparate sources, formats, and locations, data virtualisation enables the creation of a virtual data layer that can be easily used to answer Big Data questions. Unlike traditional counterparts, it provides a simple, unified view of your enterprise data in real time, giving users faster access to the data they need. As added bonuses, data virtualisation also necessitates less replication and cost, while heightening agility and simplicity.
Denodo also demonstrates how good an asset data virtualisation is in regard to data governance. Today, businesses are tackling the dispersed nature of data as well as the increasing complexity of data regulations. This is an area in which businesses cannot afford to take shortcuts, as the consequences can lead to irreparable organisational damage. Fortunately, data virtualisation, and therefore, Denodo’s offering, eases the burden almost entirely.
Firstly, with regional regulations becoming more commonplace, data virtualisation allows companies to enforce these regional policies from one central location, all while leaving the data source exactly where it is. What’s more, it also enables companies to be more consistent when enforcing data access and data security policies. In turn, it is clear that data virtualisation minimises the challenges of a data-driven landscape, and is a valuable enabler for businesses to focus better on data tasks of higher value.
Data virtualisation creates myriad opportunities for businesses to delight their customers. Denodo’s offering showcases perfectly how it puts enterprises on a fast track to achieving their goals through four main solution categories.
Denodo creates an avenue for businesses to work better through their cloud initiatives. The natural route for modern organisations is to become more cloud-driven, but making that transition has proven challenging. For instance, enterprises with data in the cloud as well as on-premise will quickly learn of the hindrances that come with this divide.
However, Denodo’s data virtualisation offering can be deployed on-premise, at the edge, or in the cloud as a hybrid data integration platform, enabling businesses to minimise disruptions. One such business is CAD design leader and Denodo customer Autodesk, which does a great deal of sentiment analysis to understand customer behaviour. Autodesk is one of many notable companies which has applied Denodo in the cloud to better manage data distributed across cloud and SaaS applications to meet business user needs.
Today, data services are an invaluable tool for companies to cut through the data noise, and quickly. In particular, Denodo leverages data virtualisation by way of creating a data services marketplace. Here, organisations can place all of their data behind a single access point, ready for internal and external use.
Like all of Denodo’s solution categories, data services have demonstrable use cases across all industries. As an example, Enverus, the energy industry’s leading data, software, and insights company, takes advantage of the Denodo Platform for exposed data services on wells, production, permits, and so on, all of which are used by internal and external application developers. In turn, Enverus also enjoys significant time and cost savings.
Business intelligence (BI) and analytics
BI and analytics are fundamental tools in an enterprise’s arsenal to ensure success. As well as offering insights into customer behaviour (which is especially relevant in industries such as retail), it also allows organisations to identify opportunities to improve business processes and performance. The Denodo Platform harnesses data virtualisation to work with structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data – all replication-free – to deliver data analytics with a truly competitive edge.
It’s important to remember that one of the main challenges associated with data is generating meaning and insights from it. Denodo remedies this by providing a semantic layer to company data, derived from numerous sources including social media and the web.
One company putting this to good use is Seacoast Bank, which created a logical data warehouse to improve the efficiency of its business processes. Specifically, the company takes advantage of the holistic view Denodo enables of its entire banking operations to assist with risk mitigation, enhanced customer service, rich customer analytics, and to identify upselling or cross-selling opportunities. Through the Denodo Platform, Seacoast is closer to its data than ever, empowering the bank to make better business decisions at speed.
As aforementioned, today’s data landscape means that centralised data repositories have reached their expiration date. Even modernised data lakes could not withstand the complexities of data today, necessitating reinforcement. That reinforcement would consequently come in the form of data virtualisation, which has revived data lakes as we know them.
Again, data virtualisation eliminates the need for replicated data. When applied in data lakes, companies can instead take advantage of a ‘logical’ approach, which adds a virtual layer to a physical data lake. As a result, organisations can get the best out of physical data lakes, but with the added benefits of increased agility and improved self-service productivity.
A large equipment manufacturer is one of Denodo’s many clients that embraces this approach to combine sensor data from equipment with parts, maintenance, and dealer information from traditional systems in support of analytical and operational needs.
A platform for everyone
Denodo’s client portfolio is highly indicative of one thing: data virtualisation is necessary for any and every industry. Most notably, Denodo works with companies in financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, pharmaceutical, telecommunication, and energy, but the possibilities are so much more. Use cases are varied, but those which are trending revolve around data science and multi-cloud architecture. Another great example of Denodo Platform in action is that by Prologis, the world’s largest warehouse company. Prologis uses the Denodo offering to ensure their data scientists can focus purely on model building, rather than finding and curating data.
Denodo’s client portfolio is testament to how in-demand the platform is. The company has worked with businesses ranging from BNP Paribas, Santander, Daimler, and T-Mobile, making clear that Denodo can make data virtualisation work for your business’s specific needs, no matter what they are. Whether you’re a drug manufacturer trying to increase manufacturing yield while minimising costs, or a telcomm company looking to improve customer satisfaction, if you want all of your enterprise data at your fingertips, you need data virtualisation.