The Viewfinder

Getting beyond the Twilight Zone of data access

You unlock this door with the key of imagination, beyond it is another dimension – you’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance of things and ideas – you’ve just crossed over into the Twilight Zone of DATA UNCERTAINTY.

When you hear the term data accessibility, what immediately comes to mind?

It usually means having easy access to your data or data-pipeline to make better business decisions quickly and reliably. However, and as discussed in the first installment in this series on “data confidence,” turning raw data into meaningful intelligence is no simple task. The fact that a paltry 5% of all collected data is analyzed is proof of the daunting challenge organizations face in leveraging their wealth of information.

As a result, this second installment’s focus in the Twilight Zone series is to view accessibility through a different and expanded lens.

Starting with a high-level overview of the technology that transforms data from a raw state to a usable form, we will then review the tangible business outcomes you can achieve through a streamlined access to “usable” data.


Laying a (Data)bricks Foundation

In the coming weeks, Long View will be announcing our new partnership with Databricks.

Databricks – a fully managed Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solution, is a “unified platform for data engineering, data science, machine learning, and analytics.”

So, what does this mean?

To start, the technology behind it is impressive. What is most noteworthy about Databricks is that it is a platform that facilitates a “collaborative environment” that enables a data team of business analysts, scientists, and engineers to do things such as create data models and develop more efficient methods of extracting data. We say noteworthy because it is the most efficient way to gain “intelligent” access to your organization’s massive cache of information.

Once again, we will get into the specifics of how Databricks will enable your team to significantly increase the amount of analyzable information from the present 5% in later articles. For now, we will focus on the benefits your company will realize through the intelligent access it provides.


Practical Value

As previously stated, leveraging advanced technology such as Databricks provides the access point through which you can convert your massive amounts of data into usable insights.

That said, what does said access mean in practical business terms?

An October 2019 Forbes article reports that 49 percent of respondents to a Deloitte survey indicate that “analytics helps them to make better decisions.” Another 16% say that it “better enables key strategic initiatives,” while 10% believe that it “helps them improve relationships with both customers and business partners.”

On a first read, the percentages are not awe-inspiring. After all, less than half of the people who responded to the survey said it enables them to make better business decisions. What about the majority?

The above numbers don’t exactly present a strong case for data analytics’ benefits – until you consider the findings of a Harvard Business Review (HBR) study.

According to HBR, “a mere 3% of the data quality scores in a study were rated as acceptable.” This low score means that 97% of all data is currently not in an “acceptable” or usable state.

To put it bluntly; we are dealing with an “access to quality” data problem versus apathy regarding data analytics benefits.

Therefore, it is not a stretch to believe that improving the quality of accessible data will significantly enhance the percentages relating to recognizable benefits.

 

Stay tuned for our Databricks announcement.