What is a Data Platform and Why Does it Matter?

More and more organisations are realising the importance of data management in the modern world. This is evident from the UK Government’s 2021 business data survey, which stated that 81% of businesses are handling digitised data, collected from both employees and customers. Therefore, the use of data platforms has become essential. But what exactly is a data platform, and what value does it offer today’s businesses?

What is a data platform?

A data platform is a critical piece of infrastructure in any form of modern application. It is a collection of different software and services that allow organisations to collect, manage, and use data more effectively. It can be used for a variety of purposes, such as building a customer database, managing product inventories, or tracking employee performance.

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What are the tenets of a data platform?

Now that the definition of a data platform has been established, it’s time to understand what differentiates it from the traditional method of data storage. Here are the tenets that make up a data platform:

1) Data collection and storage

A data platform typically uses a number of data storage technologies to collect data from a variety of sources. These could include customer interactions, financial transactions, social media posts, and even sensor readings.

This data is then stored in a centralised location for easy access and analysis. It enables data to be a shared asset within an organisation, preventing the proliferation of data silos and duplicate records.

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2) Data management and governance

Data management and governance is a critical component of a data platform. It ensures that data is accurate, consistent, and compliant with relevant regulations. Data governance also includes developing policies and procedures for managing data, as well as making sure that these policies are followed. This tenet ultimately helps to ensure that a data platform is able to meet the needs of its users.

3) Data analysis and reporting

Data analysis and reporting allow organisations to make sense of their collected data and use it to inform their decision-making. Reports are generated from data analysis, which are then shared with others within a business. Insights gained from these reports serve as a basis to improve customer service, identify new business opportunities, streamline operations, and even predict future outcomes.

4) Data security and compliance

This tenet ensures that data is protected from unauthorized access and use and is compliant with relevant government regulations, such as the UK GDPR guidelines. Data security and compliance are a critical component in protecting the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data, especially with the increasing number of data breaches across the world.

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What are the benefits of adopting a data platform architecture?

Having an advanced data architecture is a necessity for organisations. As explained by MongDB’s article on data platforms, there are benefits to be gained by adopting a data platform architecture.

  • Improved efficiency

With data platforms in place, organisations never have to deal with departmental silos and cluttered data. This improves operational efficiency and reduces the number of resources needed to access data.

  • Better decision-making

With centralised data, businesses are able to gather more accurate insights and make better decisions. Data platforms give them a holistic view of their customers and allow them to create tailored campaigns and experiences. Data-driven moves often place companies ahead of the curve.

  • Scalability

Data platforms are capable of handling large volumes of data with relative ease. This makes it a good and cost-effective choice for businesses that need to rapidly scale their operations to meet changing customer demands.

  • Stronger security

By consolidating all data in one place, organisations can better protect their data and improve their security posture. Data platform providers typically offer strong security measures that not only mitigate threats but are also compliant with various regulatory requirements.

Conclusion

In conclusion, a data platform is a powerful tool that can help businesses to improve their efficiency and security, make better decisions, and scale their operations. While it is not a silver bullet, it can go a long way in helping organisations to overcome the challenges of handling large amounts of data from multiple sources. For related topics, be sure to read ‘What is a Data Mesh and Why Does it Matter?

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