Thursday, 10 December 2015

Five Questions to Ask Before Purchasing a Data Discovery Tool

Regardless of what type of industry or business you are involved in, the bottom-line goal is to optimize sales; and that involves replacing any archaic tech processes with cutting-edge technology and substituting any existing chaos with results-driven clarity.
Data discovery tools, being a business-intelligence architecture, creates that clarity through the incorporation of a user-driven process that searches for patterns or specific items in a data set via interactive reports.  Visualization is a huge component of data discovery tools.  One can merge data from multiple sources into a single data set from which one can create interactive, stunning dashboards, reports and analyses.  The user is able to observe data come to life via striking visualizations.  Furthermore, business users want to perform their own data analysis and reporting—with a data discovery tool they can!  After it’s all said and done, smarter business decisions are generated; and that drives results.
Before purchasing a data discovery tool, however, several questions should be addressed:

1: What About Data Prep?

It’s important to realize that there are companies who will claim their data-discovery products are self-service; but keep in mind that many of the products will necessitate a data prep tool in order to access the data to be analyzed.  Preparing data is challenging; and if a data prep tool is not included, one must be purchased.  Choose a data discovery tool that enables data prep to be handled without any external support.
As a side note:  governed self-service discovery provides easy access to data from IT; and an enterprise discovery platform will give IT full visibility to the data and analytic applications while it meets the business’s need for self-service.  Business users embrace the independence they are empowered with to upload and combine data on their own.  

2:  Is Assistance from IT Required for Data Discovery Tools?

Business users desire the ability to prepare their own, personal dashboards and explore data in new ways without needing to heavily rely on IT.  Data discovery tools do not require the intervention of IT professionals, yet the relationship with IT remains.  Data discovery tools empower the business to self-serve while maintaining IT stewardship.  Data discovery tools allow users to directly access data and create dashboards that are contextual to their needs—when they need it and how they need it!  This, in turn, reduces the number of requests for reports and dashboards from IT staff and allows those professionals to focus more intently on development projects and system improvements.  Software solutions that support data discovery, such as business intelligence platforms with innovative visualization capabilities, are zealously supported by non-technical business users since they can perform deep, intuitive analysis of any enterprise information without reliance on IT assistance.  
      
3:  Will Data Discovery Tools Allow One to Interact with the Data?

The fun thing is, you can play with the data to the point of being able to create, modify and drill down on a specific display.  A beautiful feature of data discovery tools is the interactive component which permits one to interact with corporate data sources visually to uncover hidden trends and outliers.  Data discovery facilitates intuitive, visual-based and multivariate analysis via selecting, zooming, pivoting, and re-sorting to alter visuals for measurement, comparisons and observation.

4:  Are Data Discovery Tools Intended for Enterprise Use?

Enabling the business to self-serve while maintaining IT stewardship creates reliable decisions the enterprise can rely on.  Data discovery tools are invaluable for enterprise use—organizations can plan their approach to incorporate data discovery tools into their infrastructure and business practice. 
Data discovery tools allow one to retrieve and decipher data from spreadsheets, departmental databases, enterprise data warehouse and third-party data sources more efficiently than ever!  Multidimensional information can be transformed into striking graphical representations—3D bar and pie charts, histograms, scatter plots and so much more!  Data discovery tools deliver enterprise solutions within the realms of business information and analytics, storage, networks & compliance, application development, integration, modernization and database servers and tools.  

5:  With Data Discovery Tools Can I Retrieve Answers At any Time?

Data discovery tools will allow you to make inquiries and get answers quickly and seamlessly.  Geographic location will make no difference since files can be loaded on a laptop or even a mobile phone or other mobile devices.  With a few clicks, you can unlock all your data from servers, a mainframe or a PC. 
Multiple charts, graphs, maps and other visuals can, all, be combined in analytic dashboards and interactive apps.  Answers to crucial questions and issues can be quickly unveiled.  Analysts can share the data, with ease, among all users via the web and mobile devices—all operating like a fine-tuned engine—anytime, anywhere.       

Data discovery tools are changing business intelligence!

Mike Miranda writes about enterprise software and covers products offered by software companies like rocket software about topics such as Terminal Emulation, Legacy Modernization, Enterprise Search, Big Data, Enterprise Mobility and more.

No comments: