Data may be king; but collecting it from dozens of sources – internal and external – and making it available for your users and systems can be a headache.
You know that when more information is readily available, you can make higher-quality decisions faster. The challenge is, that for many organizations, valuable data resides on or originates from a range of systems – in particular siloed mainframes and legacy platforms. Somehow the data on these systems must be made readily available for consumption if it’s to be valuable.
The unrelenting demand for data takes many forms. Business intelligence (BI) and analytics tools need real-time information to generate insights. Your users need dashboards that help them to understand trends and develop new ideas. Reporting requires a complete, accurate view of the organization. And a growing range of self-service tools rely on the ability to deliver data to any device.
While these use cases differ, the challenge is similar: How do you deliver real-time access to data no matter where it resides, in a way that is easy to configure, flexible, and complete? The scale of this challenge becomes clearer when you realize the diversity of data formats and sources, including siloed legacy platforms. Between 40–80% of enterprise data either resides or originates on the mainframe, for example. And businesses that have a history of mergers or acquisitions now find themselves relying on multiple systems that were never designed to work together.
An elegant data solution
Data virtualization is an elegant, effective way to deliver this information where your people and software need it. And by connecting – not just collecting – your data, you can side-step the need to rely on time-consuming FTP uploads in favor of simple, flexible access to real-time data.
Virtualization is a technique that combines all this data, from multiple sources and platforms, into a single SQL view—a virtual view organized as a single relational database, which can be queried easily and consistently. Virtualization is faster than loading your data into a warehouse. And because it does not move data, it does not consume resources that might reduce the performance of your existing applications.
The outcome: The power to deliver projects quickly and easily, leveraging your team’s SQL or Excel skills, to deliver a single view of the data you want, without moving it or creating a new data warehouse.
What can you do with this power?
Enhance your analytics
Virtualization enables you to extend legacy data to modern BI and analytics tools, whether they are on-premises, hybrid, or based on the cloud. Your systems only see the real-time data they need, not the complexity of the multiple underlying and non-relational data sources.
Real-time access is especially valuable for dashboarding, visualizations and reports. You no longer have to wait for systems to run an overnight batch process – current data is available when you need it, no matter where it resides.
Create new self-service tools
Virtualization can also be used to deliver insights to customers and citizens. You can deliver new levels of customer engagement with self-service tools using real-time data.
Use cases include:
- Helping customers find what they need, with instant inventory status that pulls product information from a variety of sources and locations.
- Facilitating a seamless experience with self-service online booking and ordering systems, accessible from any desktop or mobile device.
- Delivering public services more efficiently, so citizens can gather the information they need using data you connect from multiple sources and locations – even multiple agencies.
Our approach to virtualization makes it easy to gather data from across your organization, and easy to generate insights. To maximize the types of data you can virtualize, Software AG is committed to helping you build on legacy.
CONNX delivers connectors to more than 150 data sources and platforms, including mainframe and legacy platforms, using common connectivity mechanisms such as ODBC, JDBC, .NET, J2EE and OLE DB. This lets you translate all your data sources, including non-relational databases, to SQL standards, while keeping your existing security measures intact.
The easiest way to generate insights is to build on skills your organization already has. In addition to SQL queries, we enable your data analysts to read and write data from 150+ kinds of sources and platforms using Excel. With just a few clicks, you can create a virtualized data set, then use Excel skills to understand trends and make better business decisions.
More than ever, your organization’s success is determined by the speed and quality of the data you can deliver. The consumers of this data – be they business users, customers or automated tools – need to access to information across the enterprise, without worrying about the complexity of the underlying data sources.
Data virtualization is a winning approach to integrating data in real time from any source or location, from legacy to cloud and everything in between. Learn more about the ways data virtualization can help you deliver insights that power innovation and success.
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