Leading through Change: Data-driven Business in a Post-Covid World
Organisations across all industries and sectors are grappling with the impact of COVID-19 on a daily basis. Data can be the great equaliser in this time of heightened disruption. Data can tell you where to start, what to do, and help you see opportunities that may determine your survival. The access and usage of data is now more critical than ever to the wellbeing of the organisation. These circumstances inspired Alex Solutions & InfoCentric to host a webinar entitled ‘Leading Through Change with Data and Analytics in a post COVID World’. During this webinar we heard from Neil Wilson, an experienced and accomplished business leader and member of the Alex Solutions and InfoCentric advisory boards. Neil provided insightful commentary on the use of data and analytics as key drivers of business performance and innovation, especially in times of upheaval. Alex Solutions Product Owner and Co-Founder Rainer Runge then provided a live demonstration of how Alex aligns to the principles Neil brought forward. This article will outline some of the practical ways that Alex can help your organisation lead in the post-COVID world.
Understanding the Data Landscape
Rainer introduced attendees to Alex’s vision to be the single source of truth in an organisation. The first step to becoming data-driven is to have a clear understanding of your various systems. Alex harnesses Intelligent Connectors to scan the different technologies in your system from end-to-end. This can include operational systems, data lakes and warehouses, cloud systems, and reporting and analytics programs. By automating the data discovery process via Alex Data Catalog and creating a centralised view of your whole system, Alex allows you to focus on better using your data as opposed to spending excessive time finding what you’re looking for. The platform is built for scale, supporting thousands of users and millions of data assets across hundreds of applications. This makes Alex the foundational reference for any data in your organisation.
A Single Source of Business and Data Truth
Once data is automatically ingested and enriched with augmentation via AI, organising it specific to your business and needs is the next step. With Alex Intelligent Business Glossary, it is simple and fast to apply business context to specific data assets, systems and processes. Rainer demonstrated an example regarding establishing privacy policies around data within the Business Glossary. This makes taking the appropriate actions with data clear and repeatable. Alex Intelligent Business Glossary reduces the amount of time required for knowledge onboarding of new team members by a minimum of 50% from manual processes. The Alex platform automates importing existing objects and terms, allowing collaborative features to be overlayed. Automated workflows enable knowledge sharing, standardisation and consistency within the organisation. The Glossary enables people to publish approved definitions and policies linked to specific systems (where sensitive information is held) and assets, helping manage the impact of the pandemic. Previously siloed knowledge from SMEs is unpacked and democratised to build competence and trust enterprise-wide. This will add up to a more nimble workforce in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Ensuring Data is Fit-For-Purpose
In a crisis, the last thing an organisation needs is to be using incomplete or outdated data to make crucial decisions about the welfare of the business. Alex Data Quality allows for fully customisation data quality rules that will then be automatically tracked to enable enforcement. Metrics such as completeness, uniqueness, freshness, validity, consistency and integrity are then able to be fed into additional out-of-the-box Alex functionality. Lineage can be used to trace quality issues back to their source as well as provide impact analysis on any changes that are required. AI will propose other data assets that are impacted by similar quality issues across the system. Workflows can be created to inform and alert owners about data quality issues. Business Glossary can provide enriched business context to data assets, allowing the responsible areas to quickly deal with quality issues in their purview. This all works in tandem to increase trust in data and ensure your organisation is working with the most reliable information while navigating the post-COVID world.
Rapid Impact Analysis and Tracing
The amount of data being generated and consumed by organisations is growing exponentially in the COVID-19 era. This volume and complexity of data — spread across numerous systems in different areas of the enterprise — causes mass confusion, effort drain and potential regulatory issues. Alex Data Lineage manages change by tracking the entire life-cycle of data within the organisation, including how it transforms and moves from place to place. As with Catalog, Alex Data Lineage is automated, rapidly extracting a map of your systems at a high degree of completeness. With this enriched context, data users can conduct impact analysis at a granular (columnar, table, report) level of any changes to downstream systems. Alex also provides aggregated views of lineage to enhance contextual understanding of data flow and dependencies. Data Lineage will mean spending less time investigating and more time understanding and using your data to solidify your position in the market post-COVID.
Data-driven transformation of the organisation is essential for the post-COVID world. To get the most out of your data and seize on new opportunities, you need the right tools. If you would like to watch the full webinar please click here. If you’re interested in finding out more about how Alex can help your organisation maximise value from your data, please contact our friendly team today.
You can read InfoCentric’s blog on the webinar here: https://www.infocentric.com.au/2020/08/25/leading-through-disruption-with-data-analytics/