Tata Consultancy Services explores why leveraging effective data management is key to creating value in a data-driven economy.

Data is the key enabler for growth across industries. With the emergence of innumerable new age data sources such as smart devices and digital sensors that communicate with computing infrastructure in real-time, enterprises have access to huge volumes of data.

This data deluge, in turn, is driving the creation of innovative products and services, and transforming the global economy into a data-driven one. However, traditional data management techniques and approaches are incapable of handling the data explosion fuelled by the industrial internet, mobile commerce, and social media.

In such a connected world, the biggest challenge lies in dealing with the volume, variety, velocity, and veracity of the data that is being generated by ubiquitous computing sources in heterogeneous forms.

Against this backdrop, enterprises are looking to gain competitive advantage by addressing the new data management challenge with cost effective computing infrastructure. Effective data management can help turn data into assets that can create real value to the enterprise in the digital ecosystem.

The emergence of data-driven economic models

New data-driven economic models have evolved due to the emergence of a variety of data sources. These can be categorised as follows:

  • The internet of information - Enterprise Systems (ERP, CRMs and EDWs), legacy applications, mobile application.
  • The internet of people - Data generated by interactions on social media being (mostly unstructured data).
  • The internet of things - The sensor data generated as part of Machine to Machine to communication.

The backbone of these economic models is data that is generated, shared, and consumed over the cloud, and made available through ubiquitous access to internet through smart devices.

A data-driven economy can be broadly categorised into one of these three: Sharing economy, Digital economy, and Data economy.

The most important enabling factor in these economic models is the trusted and reliable information (data).

Technology drivers such as mobile, cloud, big data, analytics and social media drive the digital economy. The digital economy enables the sharing economy to become more sophisticated and efficient.

The data economy is driven by the need for accurate data, availability of data, and actionable or consumable data. It is ushering in the next generation sharing economy that will transform society, regardless of country or region.

In this context, the data-driven economy is a global trend, driven by social, business, and technology factors and can generate significant economic value.

The critical role of data in the emerging economic models

It is estimated that 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is created every day. Much of that new information will consist of personal details like which places people have visited, what purchases they have made, what they are reading and what they are watching, what kind of food they like and what are their favourite restaurants and vacation spot, which celebrity they endorse. The list is endless but we should also ensure this data is captured without infringing individual's privacy.

Order not chaos

Well curated data is set to become the backbone of the new system and economic models. Not surprisingly, a number of data aggregators who collect and consolidate data for certain contexts or purposes have emerged. Enterprises can subscribe to or pay data aggregators for context-specific data that helps them gain new insights and ensure the business stays ahead of the curve.

Enabling data-driven economic models with a robust data management platform

As the variety and sources of data grow, there needs to be a noticeable transformation in the ways organisations collect, manage, and use data.

The data management platform acquires, cleans and enriches the data and provides insights into the data to the enterprise. Business stakeholders who might be interested in the insights of a specific industry or emerging trends often procure data insights to strategize. Thus a data management platform can play the insights vending engine behind a data economy-based e-commerce portal.

The digital five forces - big data, mobility and pervasive computing, AI and robotics, social media, and cloud - can help acquire, analyse, and present data in the right context to the right audiences. An effective data management platform is imperative to realizing the true potential of digital technologies.

The sharing economy depends heavily on the availability of the right data when needed. Therefore, enterprises that aim to reap the benefits of the sharing economy will require an effective data management platform. Such a platform needs to enable integration with devices, social media and other contemporary and legacy platforms. It must also be capable of leveraging artificial intelligence and analytics to derive insights from data and recommend decisions, drive cloud-enabled deployment model with multi-tenancy, and provide Big Data handling capabilities.

Enabling a thriving data-driven economy

The new age of 'digital industrialisation' is revolutionising the way we live, and is spearheading a change where data will play an even bigger role in our lives. This change is rooted in the way data about people, places, products, and processes is generated, shared and consumed through mobile devices, social media, and the 'Internet of Everything'.

Data is expected to continue to play a critical role in defining emerging business models and services. It is therefore critical that enterprises focus on data quality and reliability along with ensuring its security and privacy. Effective data management that enables enterprises to achieve this objective will be pivotal to the success of meeting the challenges of the sharing, digital, and data economic models. Organisations that align their data management to the evolving conditions and leverage effective mechanisms to handle the volume, variety, velocity, and veracity of data will have a distinct edge over those who do not.

Written by Vivek Bhartiya, Anant Kulkarni, Hari Kishore Gudipudi and Dr. Ramabrahmam of TCS Ltd.