Why Adopting Data Agility is Crucial to the Survival of Your Business


Data agility is measured by the speed and flexibility at which an organization can meet goals swiftly and at scale, regardless of whether it has a hybrid or multi-cloud infrastructure.

IT workers and industry experts understand that the volume and variety of data continues to grow exponentially from one year to the next. Effectively capturing, analyzing, and using this data to make informed decisions will soon be table stakes for business survival. To keep pace, business leaders should focus on developing a culture of continuous learning, adopting valuable insights, and integrating modern technologies into their tech stacks.

As with any new business integration, however, there will inevitably be challenges with adopting new data forms and interpreting the insights they yield. As such, organizations must ensure they possess a secure, scalable, and, above all, agile data platform that can maintain myriad data sources and tools that address business challenges, deliver critical insights, and drive innovation and growth.

Why Do Businesses Require Agile Data?

Data agility is measured by the speed and flexibility at which an organization can meet goals swiftly and at scale, regardless of whether it has a hybrid or multi-cloud infrastructure. Understanding the metadata from these forms enables an organization’s data analysts to extract and work with the overall data set.

For an organization to achieve true data agility, it requires a data platform capable of delivering this flexibility and scalability.

The traditional data management approach typically involves using disparate database and data management tools, knowledge models, and rule engines. This fragmented approach can be rigid and inflexible, requiring extensive modifications to applications and systems to accommodate new requirements. In today’s rapidly evolving world, businesses need the freedom to leverage new tools and seize emerging opportunities quickly and effectively. Waiting weeks or months to implement and capitalize on the business advantage of a new tool often leads to missed opportunities and loss of competitive advantage.

This demonstrates why a data platform approach becomes a linchpin for business survival and success. Businesses need a cohesive and comprehensive technology solution that integrates seamlessly with the entire organization. 

The ideal data platform should be capable of consuming data – whether structured, semi-structured, or unstructured. Additionally, an agile data platform for your businesses should accommodate diverse data models—from traditional SQL to RDF to Geospatial to Temporal—while enriching data with metadata and applying ontologies and taxonomies. In other words, applying human intelligence at a machine scale. Ultimately, it should deliver data downstream, tailored to the business’s specific needs, while ensuring enterprise-grade security and governance.

Transitioning to a data platform approach may require businesses to venture beyond conventional technologies and architectures. However, this pivotal step ensures their resilience and competitive edge in an ever-evolving business landscape.

See also: How Agility Helps Overcome Sales and Marketing Challenges

What are the Benefits of Agile Data Platforms?

Adopting an agile data platform reduces reliance on IT teams, gives data analytics teams more freedom to do their jobs, and drives synergy between an organization’s IT efforts and its business goals. It also allows IT professionals to work with their organization’s data in a more flexible environment, which allows them to gain better visibility of their infrastructure environments. In turn, data analysts can track and observe data metrics and provide stakeholders with a better understanding of what is occurring internally.

After deploying an agile data platform, it can reduce time to market for specific projects. If there are data siloes throughout the organization, which can greatly affect team productivity, they cannot finish tasks. Agile data platforms will give IT and analyst teams easy access to shared data.

But of particular note is the cost savings an agile data platform provides, given that implementation doesn’t require a full infrastructure overhaul for further investing in additional data tools.

Reaping the Rewards of Data Agility

Several international organizations have been utilizing agile data platforms to enhance business operations with great impact. In one use case, a leading aerospace company used an agile data platform to transition to a model-based systems engineering (MBSE) methodology. The process helped their IT teams to improve efficiency, streamline processes, connect disparate data sources, and provide better data analysis.

In another example, a non-profit life insurance company transitioned from legacy mainframes to a modern and agile data infrastructure to make data from across its systems more accessible to the business and easier for its users to search. By combining current and historical policy data with other unstructured data from across the enterprise, the organization enabled its users to find all member policy information more easily for servicing, reporting, and compliance. 

Data Agility Can Guide Businesses to Success

Upon adopting an agile data platform, businesses can start the journey towards a future defined by growth, innovation and continued positive outcomes. A data platform that can adapt to diverse data forms, support varied data models, and enrich data with metadata is essential for driving valuable insights, solving business challenges, and fostering a culture of innovation. Businesses must recognize that data is the lifeblood of success in the digital age. In an increasingly competitive global marketplace, leveraging the ability to harness its potential will determine an organization’s resilience and relevance.

 As organizations look to explore new markets and technologies, an agile data platform becomes the critical enabler of their ambitions. A singular, integrated data platform frees businesses from the constraints of patchwork solutions and empowers them to respond quickly to market changes, consumer demands, and emerging opportunities. By adopting a data platform approach, businesses can unlock the true potential of their data, fueling their growth and steering their course toward a prosperous and sustainable future. This journey will require a mindset shift, but the rewards are vast—the ability to turn data into actionable insights, create value for customers, and forge a resilient path to success in a world where change and the need to manage big data are the only constants.

Philip Miller

About Philip Miller

Philip Miller is a Customer Success Manager for Progress and was named a Top Influencer in Onalytica's Who's Who in Data Management. Outside of work, he's a father to two daughters, a fan of dogs, and an avid learner, trying to learn something new every day.

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