Lighting Up the Hidden Challenges in Data: Addressing Dark Data and Data Fragmentation

Many industry experts believe that well over 75 per cent of data is hidden, much like the base of an iceberg. According to Sheena Chin, Managing Director of Sales for ASEAN, Cohesity, this is what’s known as dark data.

In an interview with DSA, she explained that today, many organisations don’t have detailed knowledge about their data’s contents, location, owner, access history or whether that data contains sensitive information. “Dark data is a looming and unresolved problem for many businesses, in part because their data often sits in infrastructure silos that are very hard to manage”, she said.

Businesses, however, have to “light up” their dark data or it may hinder innovation. This is especially the case in today’s pandemic situation where it’s critical for companies to deliver advancements and solutions for their customers’ satisfaction. A key way to do that is by managing and gaining insights from data. Still, many organisations are not making full use of their data.

“Lighting up dark data through modern, software-defined data management offerings not only plays a critical role in empowering organisations to deliver better experiences but can help in ensuring that their data is in compliance and is secure– key benefits that can positively impact brand reputations”, stated Sheena.

Pulling Dark Data Up to the Surface
Cohesity provides simplified management so organisations can see and control their data across all locations and workloads from a single interface. Companies can consolidate data on a single platform, making their backup data productive for rapid app development, compliance, security and analytics.

Sheena mentioned that Cohesity's unique, software-defined data management solutions play a key role in helping organisations understand what data they have, where it’s located, if it’s properly backed up and protected and if the data is secure. Once companies have shed light on the dark data and they know what they have, Cohesity can also help organisations derive value from that data. A sampling of key offerings from Cohesity include:

  • Cohesity DataPlatform: 80 per cent of enterprise data consists of data used for backups, file shares and object stores, archiving, dev/ test and analytics. Much of this data is trapped in infrastructure silos that make the data challenging to manage and derive insights from. Cohesity DataPlatform brings these silos together and enables organisations to manage much of their data from one dashboard. They also can use the same dashboard to understand what data they have on-premises and in the cloud, helping to light up dark data.

  • Cohesity DataProtect: This solution provides end-to-end data protection for virtual and physical workloads, databases, applications and storage with a single, simple web-scale solution. It’s not only critical that organisations light up dark data but ensure that data is backed up and protected.

  • Cohesity MarketPlace: Once organisations know what data they have, they can derive valuable insights from it using Cohesity MarketPlace. This MarketPlace houses a collection of applications that play a key role in improving security, compliance or deriving value from data through analytics applications.

She added that Cohesity can also help companies increase efficiencies, reduce costs and ultimately stop data sprawl. “After lighting up dark data, companies can reduce their data footprint with true global variable-length deduplication, compression and erasure coding technologies“.

Reaping the Rewards of Effective Data Management
These solutions also help solve one more problem in data – the data fragmentation. “Based on Cohesity's research, 87 per cent of non-latency sensitive data is fragmented and will become nearly impossible to manage in the long-term. However, with the help of modern data management solutions, organisations can solve this massive challenge and enjoy significant benefits as a result”, stated Sheena.

According to Sheena, effective data management will result in companies increasing productivity, reducing the data footprint, ensuring data compliance and deriving more value from data. She then elaborated on those points further:

  • Increased productivity: Less time is spent managing data infrastructure on-premises and in the cloud, which can then enable more time to be spent on other business-critical tasks.

  • Reducing the data footprint: Once organisations know what data they’ve got, they can remove redundant copies, which can reduce storage costs.

  • Ensuring data compliance: Organisations can have much better visibility into their data, which can help avoid costly fines and damage to brand reputations often associated with non-compliance.

  • Deriving more value from data: Organisations can get more value out of their data once they know what data they have and where it’s stored. This can lead to better business outcomes and customer experiences.

Becoming a data-driven organisation can be a complex and arduous process but one that is worth the effort for those that wish to gain an edge over the competition. Considering the current landscape, Sheena concluded that companies that are starting their data management journey should keep three key steps in mind:

  1. Solutions that solve mass data fragmentation: Customers should look for modern, software-defined data management solutions that bring data and infrastructure silos together, where everything can be managed through one easy-to-use dashboard. This will put organisations in the driving seat with their data.

  2. Solutions that have cloud-native integrations: Embrace solutions that make it easy to back up to the cloud, recover anywhere and make use of data whenever and wherever needed.

  3. Solutions that improve security postures: Modern data management solutions can also play a key role in helping customers defend against ransomware attacks with an immutable platform and machine learning-based early detection. This can also enable organisations to reduce downtime with recovery at scale, anywhere.

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