In a perfect world, all your data would be stored in an updated, organized database or data warehouse where your business intelligence and analytics teams could keep your company ahead of the competition by accessing the precise data they need in real time. In reality, as your organization has grown, your data has probably been stretched across multiple locations, including outdated databases, localized spreadsheets, cloud-based platforms, and business apps like Salesforce. This not only causes costly delays in accessing information, but also impacts your teams’ ability to make informed, data-driven decisions related to both day-to-day operations as well as the long-term future of your organization.
So, how do you improve access to your data when it’s siloed in multiple areas? Data virtualization, while still fairly new, is an efficient, effective data delivery solution that offers real-time access to the data your teams need, and it is rapidly growing in popularity among large to enterprise-level organizations. While the market was estimated at $1.84 billion in 2020, a 20.9 percent CAGR has the data virtualization market projected to go beyond $8 billion by 2028 according to a 2022 Verified Market Research report.
To help you determine if data virtualization solutions are the best option for your company, we’ll take a look at what data virtualization is, how it can solve your greatest data challenges, and how it stacks up to other data integration solutions.
Understanding data virtualization
First, what is data virtualization?
When you have data housed across multiple locations and in various states and forms, data virtualization integrates these sources into a layer of information, regardless of location or format, without having to replicate your information into new locations. While this layer of data is highly secure and easily managed within governance best practices, it allows the data consumers within your organization to access the information they need in real time, bypassing the need to sift and search through a variety of disparate sources.
Data virtualization supports your existing architecture
Data virtualization does not replace your existing data architecture. Instead, it’s a single component in a larger data strategy, but it is often essential in executing the strategy successfully and meeting the goals of your organization.
Think of your current data architecture as an old library where your data is kept on a variety of shelves, over multiple floors, and some of it is even stored in boxes in the basement. When you are looking for specific information, you have to go on an exhaustive, lengthy search, and you may not even find what you need. Data virtualization acts as the librarian who understands the organizational system, knows exactly where everything is located, and can provide you with the information you need immediately.
Choosing data virtualization vs an ETL solution
When reporting is delayed, analytics are inaccurate, and strategic planning is compromised due to bottlenecks, it’s essential that your organization prioritizes how data is integrated and accessed. Traditionally, organizations would only choose Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL). ETL is an intensive process in which all your data is duplicated from the original sources and moved into a data warehouse, database, or other storage.
While ETL can bring your data together, there are two key problems with this method. The cost of moving and relocating data is often the chief concern most organizations have. And while it does improve your collection of data by keeping it siloed in one location, it doesn’t improve your connection to analyzable data that is needed to improve day-to-day operations.
On the other hand, data virtualization solutions streamline how you access and connect to your data. Your business users submit a query, and the Denodo data virtualization platform pulls the data from across locations, extracts the relevant information and delivers it in real time in the needed format so it’s ready to analyze and use.
The result? Increased productivity, reduced operational costs, and improved agility among business users while your architects and IT teams have greater control on governance and security.
Take a deeper dive into data virtualization solutions
Ready to dig deeper into data virtualization? We partnered with data management leader Denodo Technologies to put together Modernizing Integration with Data Virtualization, a highly informative webinar to help you learn how data virtualization helps your company save time, reduce costs, and gain better insight into your greatest asset.
To learn how Fusion Alliance can create custom data virtualization solutions to scale your data management and improve access, reach out to our team. Ask us any questions or set up a quick call to explore your options.