Data Management

How Data Management Works

Data management is the practice of collecting, keeping, and using data securely, efficiently, and cost-effectively. The goal of data management is to help people, organizations, and connected things optimize the use of data within the bounds of policy and regulation so that they can make decisions and take actions that maximize the benefit to the organization. A robust data management strategy is becoming more important than ever as organizations increasingly rely on intangible assets to create value.

Managing digital data in an organization involves a broad range of tasks, policies, procedures, and practices. A formal data management strategy addresses the activity of users and administrators, the capabilities of data management technologies, the demands of regulatory requirements, and the needs of the organization to obtain value from its data. Today’s organizations need a data management solution that provides an efficient way to manage data across a diverse but unified data tier. Data management systems are built on data management platforms and can include databases, data lakes and warehouses, big data management systems, data analytics, and more.

Information is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics is the combustion engine.
– Peter Sondergaard

Importance of Data Management

Data increasingly is seen as a corporate asset that can be used to make more-informed business decisions, improve marketing campaigns, optimize business operations and reduce costs, all with the goal of increasing revenue and profits. But a lack of proper data management can saddle organizations with incompatible data silos, inconsistent data sets and data quality problems that limit their ability to run business intelligence (BI) and analytics applications -- or, worse, lead to faulty findings. Data management has also grown in importance as businesses are subjected to an increasing number of regulatory compliance requirements, including data privacy and protection laws such as GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act. In addition, companies are capturing ever-larger volumes of data and a wider variety of data types, both hallmarks of the big data systems many have deployed. Without good data management, such environments can become unwieldy and hard to navigate.

Databases are the most common platform used to hold corporate data; they contain a collection of data that's organized so it can be accessed, updated and managed. They're used in both transaction processing systems that create operational data, such as customer records and sales orders, and data warehouses, which store consolidated data sets from business systems for BI and analytics. Database administration is a core data management function. Once databases have been set up, performance monitoring and tuning must be done to maintain acceptable response times on database queries that users run to get information from the data stored in them. Other administrative tasks include database design, configuration, installation and updates; data security; database backup and recovery; and application of software upgrades and security patches. The primary technology used to deploy and administer databases is a database management system (DBMS), which is software that acts as an interface between the databases it controls and the database administrators, end users and applications that access them. Alternative data platforms to databases include file systems and cloud object storage services; they store data in less structured ways than mainstream databases do, which offers more flexibility on the types of data that can be stored and how it's formatted. As a result, though, they aren't a good fit for transactional applications.

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