Not every startup is going to become a world-changing behemoth, but when a small, agile company hits on a truly disruptive idea, it can transform an entire industry. That’s a serious concern for market leaders, who fear that their dominant position could be eroded in just a few years if they fail to evolve at the pace of these nimble new competitors.
The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) offers a significant opportunity for the major players to fight back. To build and train the machine-learning models and deep neural networks that are already starting to transform businesses, an organization needs large quantities of accurate, domain-specific data. Over many years of operation, established businesses have typically built up a treasure trove of data that newer market entrants simply can’t match.
But there’s a catch. It’s not enough just to have the data. An organization must be able to trust it to use it. Many large businesses are still struggling with the challenge of giving their data scientists, business analysts and other knowledge workers access to the information they need at the time they need it.
What happens when organizations stop thinking about how data can be collected and start thinking about how it can be consumed?
All data should be discoverable. If a data set exists anywhere within an organization, users must be able to find it quickly and easily.Data must be well documented. It should be possible for users to understand at a glance what kind of information a data set contains so they can judge whether it will help them solve their business problem.Data must be obtainable. Regardless of where the data lives, it should be possible for a user to get hold of it immediately when they need to use it.Governance is critical. It’s important for users to know which data sets they can use and prevent them from accessing unauthorized or sensitive information.Data must be able to evolve. The role of data scientists and analysts is to use data to produce new assets, and those new assets also need to be captured, documented, governed and made findable and accessible to others.