Unified Data Management: What is it and how can businesses benefit?

Unified Data Management: What is it and how can businesses benefit?


Businesses stand to gain incredible value from their data. But only if this data is utilised properly and maintained to ensure high quality. Unified Data helps organisations accomplish this, but what exactly is Unified Data Management (UDM)?

UDM describes the process of consolidating disparate data sources to create a single data narrative within a data warehouse. Siloed data obfuscates the bigger data picture and prevents data from being effective and actionable.

The challenge of creating Unified Data

The challenge when attempting to adopt a unified data approach is the complexity of merging source systems. The technologies that businesses use to store data are highly fragmented. There are tens of thousands of hardware and software providers that each have their own vernacular, programming languages, syntaxes, and practices.

Additionally, not all data is the same. There’s big data, structured, unstructured, and multi-structured data. Some systems can only process certain types of data, and each dataset can vary wildly. It is little wonder that 24% of executives say they’d describe their companies as data-driven and only 39% of organisations manage data as an asset.

Data Analytics Sophistication Value Chart

Our CEO has written further about the challenges surrounding unified data management and the benefits that come from such an approach. Essentially, businesses that succeed at unifying their data, are better able to plan, budget, forecast, and build products. For unification, many businesses turn to analytics platforms.

At Data Clarity, we have developed ClarityOmnivue to specifically solve the challenges businesses face trying to mine multiple disparate data sources to deliver one 360-degree view of customers and business key performance indicators. ClarityOmnivue transforms disparate data into a unified data solution that enables more informed business decisions.

We have worked with retailers like Paul Smith to develop ClarityOmnivue that has given them the ability to easily identify and reconcile their data and providing all the information they need to know about a single customer.

For more information on how ClarityOmnivue can be of benefit to your business, click here.

Benefits of a Unified Data Platform

Data governance cannot succeed in a bubble; it must be connected to the rest of the enterprise. Whether strategic, such as risk and compliance management, or operational, like a centralised help desk, your data governance framework should span and support the entire enterprise and its objectives, which it cannot do from a silo.

We write more about aligning a data governance strategy to business objectives here.

Below we examine some of the benefits of a unified data platform.

Gaining Value from your Organisation’s Data

A unified data platform connects data governance to specific business use cases. The value of data is realised by combining different elements to answer a business question or meet a specific requirement.

Big data gives business users eyes and ears into marketing and sales initiatives. It captures insights into prospects and customers at a level of detail previously impossible. This enables business users to respond to real-time audience actions and drive customer behaviour in the moment. Big data is transforming marketing and sales in ways that were unachievable just a few years ago.

By enabling business users to access real-time data, they can identify high-performing products and brands, reducing losses and returns through product comparisons and actionable insights. Organisations that embrace the true value of data are able to increase profitability with easily-identifiable margins for improvement.

Helps a data-driven culture of personal responsibility for data governance

Data has the power to be a catalyst for connecting different teams around common goals. Aligning diverse teams with a common understanding of customer insights and business goals should be the goal of every CIO – developing a strong strategy is at the core of this.

A great data strategy works in a supporting role to the overarching business strategy and ultimately uncover and deepen customer insights to enable all business users to get to know your real customers and pull in the same direction.

The outcome of these efforts has multiple benefits as improved data quality means, for example, richer customer insights (better customer engagement and retention), clear priorities (better ROI for activities across the business), and a clear picture of cause and effect across all departments. For more on data quality strategy, read our article here.

A unified data platform is inherently connected to the policies, procedures and business rules that inform and govern the data lifecycle. The centralised management and visibility afforded by linking policies and business rules at every level of the data lifecycle will improve data quality, reduce expensive re-work, and improve the ideation and consumption of data by the business.

Read more about data quality here.

The benefit here is clear: business users will know how to use (and how not to use) data, while technical practitioners will have a clear view of the controls and mechanisms required when building the infrastructure that serves up that data.

Promotes data literacy across the organisation to empower employees

A unified data platform connects data governance to the language of the business when discussing and describing data. Understanding the terminology and semantic meaning of data from a business perspective is imperative, but most business consumers of data do not have technical backgrounds.

A business glossary promotes data fluency across the organisation and vital collaboration between different stakeholders within the data value chain, ensuring all data-related initiatives are aligned and business-driven.

Here we examine how creating a data strategy boosts your sales and marketing efforts.

Final Thoughts

Data Clarity’s data integration solutions provide a scalable, complete data integration platform. The platform allows users to extract data from multiple sources, transform it and load (ETL) the data to any system – compatible with both third-party and Data Clarity’s suite of analysis tools – to deliver faster time-to-value and reduced IT risk.

The integrated platform delivers a wide range of data quality capabilities from data profiling, standardisation, matching and enrichment to active data-quality monitoring. Find out more about our data integration solutions here.


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