Raise Your Data Discovery IQ

Business analysts and line-of-business (LOB) data users have plenty of robust, self-service BI tools at their disposal. What they often lack is a way to get all the most relevant data into those tools. In a TDWI Checklist Report, Dave Stodder, Director of TDWI Research for Business Intelligence, lists seven best practices for executing a successful data science strategy. Number five: Give Data Science Teams Access to All the Data.

Dave recently joined Greg Goldsmith, Attivio's Chief Product Officer, for a panel discussion on smart data discovery. Data discovery either limits or extends what business users can do with self-service BI and analytics tools. So we wanted to explore the ways in which the trend toward self-service data preparation and user-driven data blending, munging, and integration can enhance BI.

IT Still Central to Productive Data and Analytics Strategy

TDWI Research points out that in most organizations, IT still retains control of data preparation—and all its related tasks—as well as data extraction, transformation and loading (ETL). Self-service data prep tools try to incorporate IT's intelligence into the software, which can help IT get out of its gatekeeper role while reducing the IT queue.

At our panel discussion on smart data discovery, we asked attendees, “What are your biggest data discovery challenges?” They had five choices and could choose multiple options.

Webinar Poll: What are your biggest data discovery challenges?

Not surprisingly, the returns show that all these issues are fairly substantial, but at 43 percent the clear winner was lack of visibility. This in return reinforces Dave’s best practice number five: Give Data Science Teams Access to All the Data.

Speed to Insight Grows in Importance

Another trend the webinar confirmed was the growing demand by business users to have near-real-time response when querying heterogeneous data  sources, whether that source is an EDW, HDFS, or some variety of streaming data. It’s all about speed and data freshness.

Of course, this puts enormous pressure on IT if they’re still holding the “purse strings” to enterprise data. There’s no to time transform, cleanse, and otherwise “curate” all the data in an enterprise prior to analysis. Initial self-service data exploration--agile data discovery--holds the key to optimizing value from Big Data. To learn more about smart data discovery and how it can help your organization transform data into actionable insights, please view our recorded webinar.

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