As a business owner, have you ever faced the challenge of collecting and analyzing data fragmented across different sources? Are you trying to generate actionable insights but aren’t sure how to leverage your existing data? For example, are you struggling to properly track orders and sales data in an integrated capacity?
If your answer is yes, then this blog is for you.
Often, data is scattered across a disconnected matrix of data silos, significantly decreasing its ability to provide insights. This serious concern can negatively impact your business, given how data is now the most valuable digital resource. While it should ideally be a competitive asset, data can sometimes become a costly IT management headache.
Read on to find out precisely what data fragmentation is and what you can do to curb it.
To understand the concept of data fragmentation, let’s assume a big data company has hired you to analyze their data. You spend a significant time mapping out data sources and realize that the same data is sent to multiple data warehouses.
Simply put, data fragmentation is the dispersion of data—across different locations, clouds, silos, and management systems—that prevents organizations from unlocking the data’s true potential. Mass data fragmentation is also called data sprawl or data puddles.
Very often, giving different departments in your organization the flexibility to operate as independent silos may lead to massive data duplicacy in the cloud and on-premises locations. ‘Data Fragmentation’ usually refers to secondary data (information that has already been gathered and is readily available from other sources). Most of an organization’s total data volume is usually secondary data.
When plagued by data fragmentation, organizations don’t know their data, where it’s stored, and whether it is protected and in compliance. It’s like crossing the road with your eyes closed. You might reach your destination safely, but you can’t spot any oncoming danger!
According to a Global Market Study by Cohesity, approximately 80% of company data is subject to data fragmentation- much of it being duplicate copies and practically all of it dark (little to no visibility into what it is or where it is located). Roughly 9 out of 10 companies believe that secondary data is fragmented across silos and is, or will become, almost impossible to manage in the long term. Over 90% of the respondents believe they could significantly boost their organization’s revenues if they spent half the amount of IT resources managing their secondary data on more business-critical IT actions.
On the surface, data fragmentation has a relatively simple solution- just store your data in integrated systems and eliminate duplicate entries. But simple solutions are challenging to execute when dealing with big businesses with complex structures. So it’s crucial to reduce the number of data puddles to increase the efficiency, consistency, and accuracy of a business’s data analytics.
The following section talks about how you can minimize data fragmentation.
How to Reduce Data Fragmentation
1. Understand your company’s Data Architecture
Many businesses fall into the trap of deploying one or more vendor solutions to solve the problem without first understanding it. Instead, enterprises need to figure out a way to merge all these different business data into a unified infrastructure with a single user interface. This can be done by revisiting each data pipeline and its lineage and understanding how each of these datasets interacts with each other and create a single exhaustive flow of your entire data landscape
2. Assess the number of data copies your business currently stores.
Statistically, companies that do not have data quality initiatives suffer from around 10-30% data duplicacy rates. 63% of organizations have between 4-15 copies of the same data. This is wasted data storage which not only slows down existing IT capabilities but exposes the organization to data compliance violations. While data copies are highly relevant in use cases like testing, backups, and disaster recovery, further fragmentation of these copies causes overburdening of an already siloed data architecture in businesses. Getting a clear picture of your company’s current status vis-à-vis data duplicacy rates will be a good starting point to assess the level of existing damage. Just like a doctor does not operate without an MRI, businesses cannot resolve data fragmentation without understanding the extent of the problem.
3. Understand the current segmentation of On-Premise and Cloud Storage
We all are familiar with the concept of “too many cooks”. The same principle applies here. The cloud offers unparalleled agility, but many organizations lack insight into how data is being stored in the cloud and what that means for their business. Most companies struggle to manage and work with data stored on-premises and in the cloud in sync.
To resolve this issue, you must maintain a single management dashboard for all workloads in these data sources (cloud and on-prem). This will clearly show how the cloud is being utilized across the enterprise and highlight apparent redundancies.
4. Eliminate Data Silos
Macro management of business processes is a very effective leadership tool. However, for effective data management, uniformity is critical. You must remove the barriers that create data silos and redundant data copies across different locations. Multiple departments often resort to primitive data management systems like excel for ease of operations. The limited functionality of these tools renders the data in them to remain insulated from a singular truth at the overarching organization level.
Hence, instead of deploying many point products for analytics, organizations should bring these elements together in one place.
Now, you may be left wondering how to make sense of all of your disparate and fragmented data. Looking to handle it all without a team of developers to consolidate all your company’s data infrastructure?
The answer is simpler than you might think!
Turn your fragmented data into your most valuable asset by utilizing a powerful business intelligence tool like INSIA: A No Code, Self-Serve Business Analytics platform that can operate as your business’s single source of truth. The best part? You don’t need trained professionals to use this tool. INSIA not only helps you consolidate and structure all your data sources but also solves the issues related to data inconsistency. INSIA collects your data and automatically creates a report for you! Click here for a FREE trial!
By now, you must have realized that if bad data leads to bad insights, then fragmented data will lead to fragmented insights. Overcoming data fragmentation leads to lower costs by reducing the number of copies of the same data and more importantly, providing a single window of insight for the entire organization. With the problem of data fragmentation being resolved, organizations save significant capital that would have been unnecessarily spent on building multiple-point products and daily workarounds. Take a proactive step in resolving this today, and watch your business take a giant leap tomorrow! Turn your fragmented data into your most valuable asset by utilizing a powerful business intelligence tool like INSIA.