April 17, 2023
Creating a sustainable business strategy has become increasingly contingent on the data itself being sustainable. Oliver Koeth, chief technology officer of NTT data, spoke on the topic at this year’s Hannover Messe, and how data strategy needs to change to reflect shifting business needs.
“You have to establish a culture of being ethical with data,” said Koeth. “Supply chains are increasingly dependent on data, but the twist is that the data itself has to be sustainable. It has to be up to date, correct, controlled, accessible and avoiding bias. Only if your data is sustainable can your business model be sustainable.”
As data collection has become a more integral part of businesses day-to-day operations, the method of data collection has changed. While initially, companies used data warehouses, which were difficult to integrate into new models, then companies moved onto data lakes which proved difficult to organize and manage. Now, companies are using “data meshes” to provide users with a more accessible and transparent resource.
“The key element of data meshes is that it allows users to build curated data products,” said Koeth. “Using open architecture with common principles, it’s the same process used to build a product, but it’s data. It can be built around a user but be independent of a use case, providing a flexible and independent data strategy.”
While the form of data collection is changing to improve useability, a barrier to wide-scale uptake remains – that of financing.
“When talking about these novel data applications, we need data strategy, infrastructure and dedicated teams working on the new products,” Koeth said. “To achieve this, companies need scalable, accessible organization infrastructure. The two most successful methods I’ve seen are coaching and community-building. Create the framework where a team learns and builds together, and once you have champions emerging in the field, you can begin to implement coaching projects.”
With businesses’ data strategy continually changing to meet shifting industry requirements, Koeth said the primary elements to focus on are financial viability, ethics and sustainability, as well as compliance with the evolving industry standards. Once a business has ensured these requirements are met, then it will have a strong foundation to build up a sustainable practice.
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