Quick question what is a Zettabyte?
Simply put a Zettabyte is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Bytes (that’s twenty one zeros!). Put simply, it is about a trillion gigabytes. Another way of visualising this number is as the equivalent of over 62 billion iPhones! So What?
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), the total volume of data stored globally will reach 40 Zettabytes by 2020 (or at least that was the estimate in 2013 – it’s probably more now!). The reason for this is simply due to the vast array of information being recorded. Information is everywhere. Spreadsheets, Facebook, emails, video and TV, stock inventories, stock sales, telephone calls and so on. As so much of it is recorded digitally, it can therefore be utilised by a business to strengthen its position within the market.
If you were to look at your organisation, what data do you have that could be used to provide further insights? Does the information that you currently analyse provide you with all the insights potentially available?
Many surveys have found that the vast majority of an organisations data is under-utilised; it’s not recognising value for the organisation. Those that begin to unlock the hidden value within their data soon realise the benefits of doing so. Suddenly they realise the potential of the information and how it can be used to strengthen their position within the marketplace.
By identifying their data as a product, an organisation can treat it in much the same way they treat other products – it is created, stored before eventually being packaged within a report. This process flow is similar to the supply chain for other products hence the term “data supply chain”.
Key to the whole data supply chain, is the understanding that at the end, your organisation will have:
- A solid and stable repository of data sourcing information from multiple areas throughout the organisation.
- Trust in the data – the data is available 24/7, accurate and meets with business rules and logic.
- A platform for accurate data reporting allowing users to visualise the information and provide visible value from the data such as trends and forecasts.
Building a strong data supply chain is not rocket science. It does require a strong understanding of master data management but once in place, a data supply chain should continue to work efficiently for the business with little overhead.
Some reasons for an improved data supply chain are as follows:
- Secure – data is stored securely from potential loss or corruption.
- Speed – data is available to users quickly and efficiently.
- Size – data storage, processing and reporting capabilities can be scaled to meet the needs and demands of your business.
- Quality – the quality of the information extracted remains trustworthy and that users can always have confidence in the quality of the information.
- Consistency – the data remains a consistent and usable by the organisation.
Once your data has been created and transformed within a secure repository, it is simply down to the users to ensure that they have the skills to use the information available to create value through easy to understand tables, charts and other visualisations.
There are many tools available – some even with no additional licence cost. Most organisations are using Microsoft Excel which now comes with powerful Business Intelligence tools (see example).
As the volumes of data sitting on your organisations servers are getting bigger each year, it is important that this data provides value to your organisation. By using a product driven approach, your organisation can ensure that your data will meet the needs of the business. A sensible data supply chain process will help give you the insights required to get an edge on your competition.
For an open, honest and no-cost chat on your best options, please contact any of the Application Development team on 01-2790020.