How Data Virtualization Benefits Companies

August 26, 2015
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how big data helps business

how big data helps business

Every day, your company is producing more and more data. Yours isn’t alone, of course. Companies all over the world are creating progressively more information every single day. Whether it’s for the purposes of infrastructure or something related to customer details, information is a big part of how business is done these days, so it only makes sense that there would be no shortage of it across industries. Of course, there are also so many companies out there that exist solely to help deal with all this vital information.

Enter Data Virtualization

Data storage is nothing new. It goes back as far as the days of stacking scrolls into shelves. Eventually, books made it a bit easier to not only store information, but organize it too. Then, it became possible to really get a grasp on all of your company’s data by putting it in a virtual environment. Chances are you’re familiar with searching through a mass of data for that one important document.

That being said, for many companies, virtualization has come with its limitations. The fact of the matter is that, as we touched on above, there’s just so much information being created at all times. It’s almost like we’re back to the days of scrolls where we can’t even get our hands on the most important documents we have.

Most people at most companies don’t have the time to organize every piece of data by type and location. It would be nearly impossible to do so. It’s really hard to imagine anyone would have the bandwidth to do this.

Fortunately, data virtualization platforms have come along to ensure this isn’t necessary to do. Therefore, if you or one of your employees is doing this kind of manual integration of data, just know it’s no longer necessary.

Data Virtualization Arrives Just in Time

This kind of software would have been a huge godsend for most companies five or 10 years ago. However, it couldn’t have come at a better time when you consider the force that Big Data has become. The term refers to the utter deluge of information that most businesses are now dealing with on a regular basis.

See, the problem isn’t just how much data there is, but how it gets automatically stored. Usually, it’s going right to a mainframe server, like the kind used for record data. It demands just as much in the way of analytics as any type of information ever has, but it doesn’t necessarily lend itself to conventional forms of searching very well.

Again, this is where data virtualization can make all the difference in the world. It’s all about finding the data you need to get your hands on right away, regardless of the format it’s in or where it might be located.

Your Typical 21st Century Business

Let’s flesh this out by looking at an example of a business in the 21st century that’s dealing with a good amount of data. A bank would be a good one to examine. It might be taking in a bit more information every day than your company is, but it might also be taking in a lot less.

The point is that it has countless transactions going on every minute. It could easily be in the millions. Obviously, each one is going to require a large amount of data to be produced, but more importantly, it’s also going to require finding all kinds of information too and this basically has to happen in the blink of an eye.

Furthermore, you’re going to have to extract data from both sides of the equation: the bank-side and the customer facing faction.

Again, are you running a bank? Perhaps not. But no matter what industry you’re in, the above is probably fairly relatable. If you deal with customers in a B2B or B2C paradigm, you need immediate access to all kinds of data as soon as you can.

Non-Relational Data and Relational Data

All of this would be so much easier if all of your data were compatible with a non-relational or relational environment. However, like most organizations, you probably store your information on a non-relational structure. Yet, you use a relational database management system (RBMS). As a result, much of your data, maybe even the majority of it, is basically nowhere to be found when you go looking for it.

This problem no longer exists when you start relying on virtualization. It’s a modern approach for reconciling these two would-be problematic areas with one another.

The location and format no longer remotely matter as far as your data is concerned. It can now be at your fingertips whenever you need it.

A Better Search

Through that simple reconciliation we just mentioned, you’ll have more access to information than ever before. However, today’s really good virtualization software is capable of reducing any amount of your mainframe’s complexity for high-performance purposes that eliminate redundant integration, scalability and manageability tactics.

Instead, you get the results you want in the most streamlined ways possible. Non-relational mainframe data can even be flat-out transformed into relational formats if that makes it easier for other applications you rely on.

Those are just secondary benefits of using virtualization programs, but even they are extremely helpful all on their own.

These days, it’s believed something like 60% or even 70% of business critical data around the world is stored on mainframe systems. Perhaps this is congruent with your company’s situation too. In a business environment where the team with the most data often wins, getting a hold of information as fast as possible is vital for victory. That’s what makes data virtualization such an essential tool. Begin leveraging it today and your company will be looking at a much better tomorrow. Even if you think you don’t have the kind of data that necessitates this kind of software, someday you will. Not only that, it’s guaranteed that you will begin producing more of it than ever if you plan on growing as a business, so you might as well start using this type of platform now.