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Will Data Virtualization Work for Me?

Data virtualization delivers across multiple industries and challenges

Meeting Business Needs Drives Data Virtualization Adoption
Making effective business decisions requires knowledge and insight that can only be developed from access to and analysis of complete, high-quality actionable information.

Data virtualization enables IT to deliver this information to business with greater agility and lower costs than traditional data integration approaches and technologies.

  • But how does data virtualization apply to my situation?
  • Are there any patterns of adoption that I can look to for guidance?
  • And in particular, what about my industry? Can I learn from others with similar business challenges?

The Data Virtualization Usage Patterns Point of View
What Is Your Strategy for Data Virtualization?
described data virtualization as a versatile data integration solution that can be deployed to solve a wide range of data integration challenges.  With nearly ten years of successful data virtualization implementations underway, several common usage patterns are available to guide an enterprise's data virtualization adoption strategy. These data virtualization usage patterns include:

  • BI data federation
  • Data warehouse extension
  • Enterprise data virtualization layer
  • Big data integration
  • Cloud data integration

The Data Virtualization Industry Solution Point of View
While the above patterns apply across every industry to some degree, addressing challenges unique to specific industries have also guided data virtualization adoption.   Looking at data virtualization through an industry lens is an especially effective way for data virtualization champions to understand and then internally communicate how data virtualization will work in their organization.

Data Virtualization in Financial Services
Why the Financial Services Industry Likes Data Virtualization
highlighted several of the most frequent use cases that have made the Financial Services industry, the largest adopter of data virtualization to date including:

  • Risk Management - Data virtualization aggregates a single view of institution-wide risk so you can better manage market, credit and operational risks in real-time.
  • Reference Data Sharing - Data virtualization provides a single virtual source for reference and other data required to complete a financial transaction or a critical analysis.
  • Prime Brokerage Reporting - Data virtualization provides the single view of positions and trades your prime customers' want, whenever they want it.
  • Financial Analysis and Trading - Data virtualization simplifies and reduces analyst time spent on data access.  Your analysts spend more time performing the analyses your traders and customers can leverage for greater profits.
  • Mergers & Acquisitions - Data virtualization lets you virtually federate data from across these duplicate systems so you can gain cross-selling synergies sooner.
  • Compliance Reporting - Data virtualization simplifies compliance reporting for regulatory initiatives including Dodd-Frank, Basel II and Sarbanes-Oxley.  Because internal systems have been optimized for operations, not compliance, data virtualization reduces the data integration component in your compliance reporting costs.

Data Virtualization in Communications and Media
Why Communications and Media Companies Like Data Virtualization
identified how communications and media companies, such as AT&T, Bell Canada, Comcast, CondeNast, Nielsen, Scripps Networks, TELUS, Time Warner Cable and TurkCell rely on the data virtualization platforms to provide the dynamic and diverse information required across a range of strategic initiatives and business-critical IT projects.  These include the following, just to name a few:

  • Flexible Ratings Data Analytics - To enable their TV network customers to respond faster to viewing trends via more robust ratings analysis, this marketing information company used Composite Software's data virtualization platform.  Results included a 50% faster response to new data requests, 80% faster reporting runtimes, improved customer satisfaction and 250% payback in nine months.
  • Media Access and Ad Sales Reporting - To improve sales teams' productivity, this lifestyle cable media company used Composite Software's data virtualization platform to combine data from disparate media access and ad sales management systems. Results included a 2% increase in ad sales with payback in four months.
  • Magazine Merchandizing Portal - To increase sell thru, product profitability and sales productivity for single copy magazine sales, this US distributor used data virtualization to provide a real-time view of point-of-sale scan, order management, and CRM data for their sales teams.  Results included a 5% increase in product profitability with payback in three months.
  • 360° View of Cellular Customer Data - To maximize revenue per customer and customer service levels, this European mobile phone operator used Composite Software data virtualization products to combine customer service data from their customer reporting data warehouse, billing data from their financial systems, and call and configuration data from their operational support systems to deliver a 360o view of customers to their customer service representatives.  Faster issue resolution and more productive up-sell programs reduce churn and increase revenues.

Data Virtualization in Energy Companies

Why Energy Companies Like Data Virtualization identified how four of the top five global energy companies rely on data virtualization to provide the diverse information that fuels upstream, downstream and back-office business success  Here are but a few of the use cases these innovative IT organizations have deployed:

  • Well Maintenance and Repair - Keeping wells up and pumping drives revenue. When wells go down, getting the right repair rigs and teams on site fast is critical. To allocate these scarce resources optimally requires dispatchers and triage teams have real-time access to repair rig status, staffing availability, best practice procedures, maintenance records, flow rates, and more.  Data virtualization accesses and combines this diverse data so the oil and gas keep flowing.
  • Regulatory Reporting - The energy industry is one of the most highly regulated industries today. EPA, OSHA, DOT, and many other federal and state agencies require hundreds of compliance reports.  Because internal systems have been optimized for operations, not compliance, integrating the data needed from across these systems is often the biggest component in your compliance reporting costs.  Data virtualization quickly and easily federates diverse data from across operational systems, while leaving operating data in place to avoid the extra costs that result from unnecessary data replication.
  • Research and Development - Effective R&D pipeline management is the key to expanding energy sources, enhancing recovery and yield, and reducing costs in the energy business.  Currently, most research project information resides is multiple systems.  Managers have to access these separate systems to extract, compile, and assemble reports from multiple laboratory operations in order to keep up. Data virtualization offers easier access and visibility across the entire R&D process.
  • Human Resource Management - The shortage of skilled petroleum engineers, roustabouts, geologists, and others continues to worsen. A ttracting, developing and retaining a highly skilled professional workforce has become a top priority. Information is critical including skills development, legal and regulatory mandates, and demographic shifts in workforce composition. Data virtualization easily integrates all this data to maximize the work force.
  • Sales Management - Sales managers need up-to-the-minute information at their fingertips to increase revenue and drive sales productivity. The costs associated with lost opportunities or problems left unresolved are significant. Answers to questions such as am I tracking to make my numbers this month, what are the hot products, how is my customer satisfaction, where can I get additional sales, and more are constantly being asked each day. While this information resides in multiple silos, you need what you need, no matter where it resides. Data virtualization can bring that information to sales leaders so they can hit revenue objectives.

Data Virtualization in Federal Agencies
Why Federal Government IT Leaders Like Data Virtualization
identified how with money tighter than ever, federal agencies are under increasing pressure to improve efficiency, share information more readily and execute on ever-expanding congressional mandates.  This has led to a proliferation of data virtualization adoption across multiple agencies to provide solutions such as:

  • Data Virtualization Supports SOA - Delivering data to consuming applications via SOAP, JMS and REST, data services can be applied to multiple projects, so government IT leaders can achieve their agility and reuse objectives. Data virtualization platforms even allow agencies to repurpose "non-SOA" code such as relational views into sharable data service in just a few clicks.
  • Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) Model Support - Data services built and deployed using data virtualization are key enablers for the following FEA components; Service Component Reference Model, Technical Reference Model, and Data Reference Model.
  • Cross-agency Data Sharing - Data virtualization can help the government share data held in disparate IT systems and groups, presenting the information to multiple agency applications in a uniform fashion.
  • Simplified Website Development - Government agencies use data virtualization to simplify the process of turning disparate source data into easy-to-consume data for internal and external web portals.
  • Single View of a "Person of Interest" - Today, several defense and intelligence agencies use data virtualization to gain real-time or near real-time access to seemingly innocuous information from multiple partners throughout the intelligence community to effectively profile persons of interest
  • Operational Improvement - By providing on-demand capture and analysis of operational data, data virtualization helps government agencies make better decisions and improve operations.

More Stories By Robert Eve

Robert Eve is the EVP of Marketing at Composite Software, the data virtualization gold standard and co-author of Data Virtualization: Going Beyond Traditional Data Integration to Achieve Business Agility. Bob's experience includes executive level roles at leading enterprise software companies such as Mercury Interactive, PeopleSoft, and Oracle. Bob holds a Masters of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science from the University of California at Berkeley.

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