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Data powers the modern world. Organizations of all types depend on massive, rapidly growing, and scalable datasets to deliver smarter services and grow their business. Given its importance and ubiquity, data should be treated as a utility, just like water, gas and electricity. But how to achieve it?

We’ve all become hyper-aware that data needs to be readily available, relevant, and simple to use for everyone, as we plan to keep up with the current pace of data and technology evolution. In this article, we’ll explore how, by leveraging open source databases, data integration, and modern data management tools, organizations can use and consume data as if it were a utility.

Accessible data and the democratization of data

The utilities are simple and accessible to everyone. Flip a switch and the light comes on, turn on a faucet and water comes out. The data must be equally accessible and reliable. This need has led to the much-discussed democratization of data to enable the ubiquity of business intelligence and the emergence of AI in the enterprise.

The first step in the process is to adopt open source technology, which helps to democratize and reduce barriers to entry for the use of technologies while improving their quality and reliability. Democratization is the idea that everyone can use and benefit from a particular resource. Like energy, open source projects are available to everyone – and the community controls the direction of these projects, determines what features will be added, and what use cases will be supported.

However, before organizations can begin to benefit from open source technology, business leaders need to determine what their business needs most. It could be scalability, availability, security, or a combination of all of these. Answering this question is the first step to successfully leveraging open source and choosing technologies that simultaneously meet the needs of the organization.

Accessible data: durable databases provide easy access to data

Data accessibility is perhaps the most critical factor in treating data as a utility. Powerful and modern databases will play a central role in supporting this accessibility. To enable it – and to ensure that organizations can easily leverage all their data – emerging database technology must use the following:

  • Hybrid Transaction/Analytical Processing (HTAP) Architecture: HTAP database technology supports real-time situational awareness and decision making on live transactional data and eliminates potential friction between IT and business goals.
  • Cloud-native architecture: Cloud-native databases offer improved agility, scalability, reliability, and availability compared to traditional databases.

A combination of the two – cloud-native HTAP databases – will be particularly important for any organization, for example in the e-commerce and finance industries, that needs to support massive numbers of customer transactions and volumes of data in rapid growth while having to create new applications. to offer new services.

Data integration improves business results

Another step to making data work as a utility is to enable it to support specific business purposes. For example, organizations can optimize processes through data integration (or data sharing). From compiling more relevant data and generating more robust data and analytics, to solving business challenges and accelerating the path to business goals, data sharing keeps the wheels turning. .

According to the Sixth Edition Gartner Survey of Chief Data Officers, data sharing is a business KPI that reflects effective engagement and the true business value of data. In fact, data integration enables systems to extract knowledge and information from structured and unstructured data, converting existing data into insights that can be transformed into actionable insights, thereby optimizing processes.

Organizations must break down silos to achieve complete data integration. To do this, they must use a database that can provide a unified view of analytical and transactional data.

The role of data management tools

To build a culture with a data-sharing mindset, organizations must adopt management tools that enable team collaboration and productivity. Leaders should keep in mind that as responsibility for data increases, so does the pressure to make it accessible across all organizations. Data management tools provide the “glue” to enable the exchange of data across an organization and ultimately ensure that this transformation becomes a reality.

Working to make data useful

Businesses and organizations of all types and sizes are increasingly relying on data to deliver new products and services. To drive continuous innovation and greater efficiency, data must become even easier to access and use. This means treating it like a utility. Make data a fundamental element necessary for the functioning of any modern organization.

Open source databases, data integration, and data management tools will be essential to this transition – let’s get started.

Max Liu is CEO and co-founder of PingCAP.

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