More than ever before, digital information is becoming central to the decision-making processes of businesses both large and small. And as more information becomes available, such as detailing customer use, business processes, and societal trends, acquiring said data is becoming an essential factor of business success. However, in it’s raw form, the available data is simply too vast and unstructured to be of any real use. According to a study performed by IDC, as little as 1% of the world’s data is being effectively analyzed, with the rest either being collected and stored in untouched data silos, or not being collected at all. As such, businesses that want to be able to remain competitive need to be able to not only capture important information, but also turn that information into functional, decision-affecting resources. Data discovery helps make this possible.
Data discovery is a business-intelligence process that makes it possible for organizations to get interactive and detailed information via data captured from a variety of resources. But unlike conventional business-intelligence, data discovery takes a less-structured approach, focusing instead on big-picture trends. Information is then displayed in an easily-distinguishable and highly visible way, such as a dashboard. Using visual elements like charts, graphs, and tables, present analyzed data in a concrete and digestible way, allowing for better understanding of potentially abstract data, and resulting in better-informed business decisions.
While there is certainly some overlap when it comes to defining data discovery vs. traditional business intelligence, and many individuals and organizations may have their own specific definitions for each concept, the major advantage of data discovery lies in its speed. By focusing on big-picture results, users can get directly to the heart of the catalysts that directly affect business, without having to wade through a sea of data to do it. And given that 49% of employees say that turnaround time to get answers is too long, this is an advantage that should not be overlooked.
Of course, for this to be possible, organizations need the right data-discovery tools.
The effectiveness of data discovery is dependant upon the capabilities of the tools used to implement it. And as with any popular business tools, there is a wide range of options from which decision makers can choose. So where to begin?
First and foremost, data discovery tools need to be able to fill the specific needs of the specific organization, which means that tools that are a perfect fit for one company may not be a perfect fit for another. That having been said, there are certain features that most users would agree are a necessary part of an effective data discovery solution:
When used properly, data discovery can help businesses extract valuable conclusions from large amounts of raw data, and to do so quickly. In fact, companies that use data analytics are five times more likely to make faster decisions.
But just as every business is different, so to is every data discovery tool. Finding a data discovery tool that fits the needs of a specific business, and that does so in a way that is intuitive and useful, can help businesses of all sizes make the most of the information that they capture.