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Data at Rest – A Broader BI Definition

It is not possible to have a successful BI program without a lot of consideration placed on “Data at Rest” inside you organization.  Issues range from data security, to data integrity, all the way over to corporate strategy and creative thinking about uses for existing data.

Check Wikipedia for a great starting definition of “Data at Rest.”

For the purposes of a world class BI program, however, the definition(s) presented in the Wikipedia article are limited.  A fundamental premise of a world class BI program is that your company’s data must be used strategically.  If the data is only in use for singular purposes, we at Crunch Data consider it to be “Data at Rest”, contextually, in terms of the potential to provide key strategic insight, with a broad range of possibilities.

Examples are many:  An order management system may hold keys to missed sales opportunities.  A CRM system may point to excellence or flaws in marketing investment.  A sales performance system may contain key human resource management information.  An inventory system may contain all kinds of dormant cost cutting opportunities, unrevealed by the standard reports.

In each of these examples,  by the Wikipedia definition, the data is clearly already in use in the organization.  However, in terms of scoping the cross purposes and strategic nature of the data, it is under-utilized and simply at rest for the many profitable strategic opportunities that are dormant in the data.

Most of the IT world sees Data at Rest as an issue of security.  At Crunch Data, we see data at rest as lost opportunity.  More on this in future blog posts.  Outside of the need for security, that loud ‘zzzzzzzzz’ coming from your data warehouse may be keeping you up at night.  Well, you are not alone, especially if you’re responsible for the Business Intelligence program in your organization.