When my son was nine, he loved to ask anyone and everyone this classic question: if you were a superhero, which superpower would you choose—invisibility or flight?
It’s a fun question that always led to a lively conversation of pros, cons, and what-ifs. I mean, how to choose? Any superhero worth his or her salt would want both of these superpowers.
Of course, when we’re talking about data, arguably the superhero at your organization, invisibility is anything but a desirable superpower. Nevertheless, all too many organizations have an invisibility cloak draped over their data activities that, much like kryptonite, is sapping their data’s strength.
The opposite of invisibility is end-to-end data visibility and it’s an absolute necessity for achieving data’s full potential.
So what does end-to-end data visibility entail? It’s more than just having the ability to view the actual bits and bytes of your data; it also requires visibility into data flow. For example, you may be able to easily access and view the contents of an invoice or purchase order, but unless a deeper level of data visibility is implemented, you might not notice that your organization paid a million dollar invoice before the actual goods were received.
But end-to-end data visibility doesn’t stop there. Data governance strategies such as data categorization, stewardship, auditing, and policy creation are required to enhance data quality and visibility, and inherently secure data against misuse.
And last, but not least, all iterations of your data, along with robust sets of metadata that capture data flow, should be persisted in a format-agnostic central repository. One with rich API support for integration with data visualization tools, as well as a schema-on-read approach that provides the ability to see the data any way you need to—on the fly.
By layering these visibility strategies across your various data operations, you’ll be well on your way to throwing off that invisibility cloak and taking flight!
(If you’d like to learn more about the strategies behind creating end-to-end data visibility, download our brief titled Are You in the Dark? 3 Steps to Achieving Full Data Visibility.)