data-aware analytics

5 analyst tips for becoming data-aware

Being an IT expert doesn’t mean always knowing the answer. Sometimes, it’s important to get a fresh perspective from an unbiased industry voice. In these situations, turning to your industry’s leading analysts can help offer new insights about your company’s (and its customers’) needs and goals.

Many of the analysts that cover data-aware trends have pointed to the increasing nexus of data management and information security as being highly deserving of attention. Companies are constantly facing new and emerging security threats, while looking to understand their data on a granular level. They also want to secure sensitive data and avoid the kinds of security breaches we all read about in the news.

Below are some insights from experts at Gartner, ESG and Kaspersky Lab to help your team become data-aware and provide some background on the reasons driving this industry need

1. Information security is a top priority for enterprise IT.

Last year, ESG researchers worked with more than 600 IT professionals to identify pressing themes and trends apparent in planned IT spending. ESG’s Bill Lundell and Jon Oltsik identified some developments related to specific verticals. However, they also noted that data security was the No. 1 priority throughout enterprise IT, no matter the industry. The growing emphasis on information security has created new opportunities for midmarket companies to work with solution providers that understand precisely what their businesses need. Moreover, ESG found that business agility has emerged as a key indicator in effective security and data protection.

2. Continuous data monitoring limits security risks.

Oltsik’s 2015 report analyzing continuous data monitoring and its influence on data security found that many companies are monitoring the creation, access and management of information at all times rather than when issues arise. Oltsik urged IT decision-makers to integrate technologies and solutions that deliver deep visibility into data to ensure they’re able to discover and protect sensitive information.

3. Data-aware storage is a must-have for virtualized environments.

Kaspersky Lab estimated the average cost of data breach is $800,000 before remediation costs, which typically push it closer to $1 million. Despite this, companies using virtualization, which represent 62 percent of the companies Kaspersky surveyed, aren’t as prepared as they should be to secure their environments. In fact, just 56 percent of these organizations are prepared to deal with security issues in virtual environments. The survey results make it clear that to truly secure their data, companies must make security a critical consideration throughout the data lifecycle, beginning at the time and place of creation.

4. Unstructured data presents significant risks and opportunities.

Unstructured data has long been a source of significant frustration in the enterprise. In 2013, Gartner’s Alan Dayley released a report that highlighted the issues companies face with unstructured dark data and file-analysis innovation. More than two years later, many of these issues still exist. However, businesses are now addressing the issues. IT administrators now know employee, customer and partner data must be identified within unstructured documents and properly secured. Moreover, the presence, value and risk of unstructured data has led to the rise of solutions designed to offer visibility into unstructured data and mine it for insights.

5. Knowing what’s in your data is the only path to true security.

Steve Duplessie, ESG founder and senior analyst, reported last year that IT needs to change the way it approaches big data as it grows. It’s not enough just to make room for big data. Companies need to determine what data contains, and how to analyze and secure it at the point of storage. Data-awareness puts such companies on the path to understanding what’s in their data and provides deeper intelligence that can help improve the organization’s bottom line. When we understand the contents of unstructured data, we can effectively secure it and identify ways to use its contents to uncover business insights.

Read another expert take about data-aware storage from 451 Research.

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John Joseph

John Joseph

President and co-founder of DataGravity, John Joseph leads company’s sales, marketing, operations and customer initiatives. John previously served as vice president of marketing and product management at EqualLogic, leading these functions from the company's initial launch through the successful acquisition by Dell in 2008. He subsequently served as vice president of enterprise solutions, marketing at Dell for three years after the acquisition.