Article

Edward Huskin
Edward Huskin 6 May 2021

Operational Data Store for Digital Transformation

Increasing business efficiency while reducing costs has always been a challenge for businesses, and it has become a bigger challenge through the years, especially in light of the challenges posed by Covid-19.

Companies are now scrambling to find ways to keep afloat and profitable despite marketing trends and customer behavior being in constant flux. Big data has become a boon for those looking to optimize business outcomes, and it has become the core of modern businesses

At the height of the recent global pandemic, business trends have shown that online channels can be very lucrative if used correctly, and right now seems the best time to take advantage of its strengths. Businesses have begun putting more effort into an omnichannel approach as they see how it becomes more and more important to boost ecommerce channels and other online services.

In 2019 alone, 14% of Global retail sales were made up of ecommerce purchases, and this is predicted to increase to 22% in 2023. This shift in shopping trends points to something more than just a change in marketing strategies, it entails the optimization of online channels because customers want instant gratification. 

Fortunately, innovative tools are now available to help organizations deal with the challenges of handling and analyzing large amounts of data. An operational data store (ODS) is one such tool, and it addresses what most customers find a reason to ditch a website or brand: slow response times.

Offering a host of other benefits like always-on services, high compatibility, and real-time data replication, a modern ODS will help businesses bridge the gap between online and offline channels.

Driving Business with Data

Building a data-driven business entails embracing a culture focused on data, and this almost always requires an organization to undergo a digital transformation. Transformation is always hard, but putting data at the core of a business presents many benefits that make all the investment worth it.

Culture is a major factor in ensuring a digital transformation occurs with as little disruption as possible, and an organization’s culture is set by its leaders. Below are a few ways company leadership can help facilitate this transformation:

  • Align expectations

Instead of focusing on the technical aspects of data analysis and management early on, it could be more effective to highlight the problems it will help solve for the business. This will get buy-in from the members of the organization, including the management team, and help the digital transformation get underway as soon as possible.

  • Bring in an agent of change

To make the digital transformation as seamless as possible, it’s vital to bring someone into the organization who’s going to be responsible for making the changes happen. This could mean hiring a chief digital officer with the capacity to innovate. It could also mean a rethinking of an organization’s data strategy or the implementation of modern systems like an ODS.

  • Reorganize for collaboration

Getting the results you want requires the cooperation of everyone in the organization. For organizations with siloed teams and workflows, this means that they will have to take a more collaborative approach that’s focused on data and analytics.

This should be done with the most prudence because it involves bringing together business and marketing people and technical and IT professionals. There’s no set organizational model for digital transformation, but data and analytics should be at the heart of every business unit.

Why Use an ODS?

Because most companies have gathered large amounts of data through the years, a digital transformation is large-scale and can put pressure on conventional data architectures. An ODS can help organizations by replicating systems of record to help increase throughput and reduce latency. It leverages in-memory technologies to help systems move away from constant read-write access to disk-based storage.

By aggregating data from multiple disparate sources and allowing for comprehensive reporting across multiple systems, an ODS helps provide a more complete view of data. It puts operational data at the forefront by acting as an intermediary to a data warehouse, keeping the necessary and most frequently accessed data stored close to the user for quick access.

By presenting an alternative data management solution focused on operational data, an ODS is an ideal first step toward an organization’s digital transformation. 

Additionally, a modern ODS will help organizations achieve the following:

  • Increase speed of data ingestion and processing

  • Ensure applications are able to support high user concurrency 

  • Support peak volumes by avoiding over-provisioning

  • Quickly deploy new applications and services

  • Ensure infrastructure is compatible with cloud-based and hybrid architectures

Companies planning to implement a modern ODS can choose an out-of-the-box solution for convenience, but there’s no need to rip-and-replace a currently existing system. Before choosing a solution for your organization, examine existing solutions and see what’s currently working.

Then look at what elements your current system is lacking and base your modernization plans on those. By augmenting your existing ODS system with modern layers, digital transformation won’t be that disruptive or painful.

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