Five benefits of data exchanges for improved data sharing

By Jacques du Preez, CEO at Intellinexus

Johannesburg, 16 May 2022
Read time 4min 00sec

The ability to make fast and accurate decisions over the entire enterprise remains one of the most important and powerful business capabilities in 2022.

The ongoing volatility in local and global economies paired with the widespread disruption of the pandemic to global supply chains has created unprecedented complexity for business leaders. And there is every indication that this complexity and disruption will continue to grow and spread as new challenges emerge.

For businesses, this has created a situation where making the best possible decision is critical. There is simply no room for trial-and-error: businesses need the ability to make the best decision over every aspect of its operations at all times.

IT under pressure to deliver data insights

Understandably, this has put immense pressure on IT teams who deploy data and analytics capabilities to bring transparency to business operations, reveal trends and insights into organisational challenges and opportunities, and drive positive digital transformation outcomes that deliver new capabilities to end-users.

The importance of data sharing in boosting such business transformation outcomes cannot be overstated. At a basic level, data sharing refers to the ability to distribute the same sets of data resources to multiple users, applications, suppliers or customers without losing data fidelity across each of the consumers of that data.

Effective data sharing enables same-day decision-making, as it makes data insights immediately available instead of data and analytics teams having to extract a text file into their workloads, which usually delays the delivery of insights by days. It's a vital step towards near real-time, data-driven decision-making.

Data can originate from multiple software applications used across the organisation, or from website user behaviour, or IOT devices. In fact, data sources are nearly limitless in today's hyperconnected world, but that means data volumes are too.

Benefits abound, but implementation falls short

A Gartner survey of chief data officers found that respondents that successfully increased data sharing were 1.7 times more effective at demonstrating verifiable value to data and analytics stakeholders. Teams that championed data sharing were also 2.3 times more likely to reducing time-to-market and 3.5 times more likely to succeed at data monetisation.

The same study predicted that organisations that promote data sharing will outperform their peers on most business metrics as soon as 2023.

And yet, Gartner predicts that in 2022, fewer than 5% of data-sharing programmes will correctly identify trusted data and located trusted data sources.

To address this, enterprises should look at developing a centrally managed data exchange where they can easily, securely and cost-effectively share data within a carefully controlled and monitored environment. This would allow trusted internal (employees) and external (customers, partners) stakeholders to readily access trusted data assets without having to move, copy or transfer that data and risk a loss of data fidelity.

Five benefits of a data exchange for improved data sharing

What are the benefits of developing a data exchange that eases the process of data sharing across the organisation, both internally and externally?

  1. Firstly, it enables organisations to share data across their entire ecosystem. Inviting customers and partners to securely access governed data can help improve customer satisfaction, increase transparency and boost the performance of the business.
  2. IT teams can unlock reduced data analytics costs as a data exchange eliminates costs associated with extract, transform and load (ETL) processes and traditional data sharing methods such as APIs, FTPs and cloud bucket storage.
  3. By partnering with a specialist data exchange provider, companies can also leverage public or purchased data sets to enrich and supplement internal data and deliver better analytics that can improve decision-making.
  4. Usage metrics are also readily available, enabling organisations to understand who accesses the data and when, revealing insights into what data is most used – and most valuable – to the business, its partners and its customers.
  5. Finally, a data exchange ecosystem can ease the process of data governance and security as IT teams can provide secure data access across the business without having to copy or export data.

Companies are sitting on a gold mine of data gold, but too many struggle to unlock the value of that data. By implementing a robust data sharing strategy using the latest technologies, companies can take bold steps towards become data-empowered, driving better decisions at every level of the organisation.