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Zaloni 2021 Predictions: DataOps Efficiency During COVID, the Rise of Data Stewards, and More

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2021.  Read them in this 13th annual series exclusive.

DataOps Efficiency During COVID, the Rise of Data Stewards, and More

By Ben Sharma, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer, Zaloni, Inc.

2020 has gone down in the history books for the chaotic disruption it has brought to the world. The global pandemic headlined the vast majority of the year, throwing curveballs that proved the importance of adaptability and perseverance during such uncertain times. The new year holds a glimpse of the old normalcy that people are desperately craving, but 2021 also opens up the opportunity to build upon and improve the new normal in the digital and data spaces. At Zaloni, we have curated a handful of data trend predictions for the new year, emphasizing an increase in data management vendors, the rise of influence for Data Stewards, and the importance of incorporating a DataOps approach to improve data efficiency and usage.

1)  Data stewards will rise in influence. As the need for better data governance standardization, automation, and security grows in prioritization, so will the importance of the data steward role. Data stewards sit at the nexus of data governance, data security, DataOps, and AI/ML enablement efforts and will increasingly have opportunities to improve outcomes for both data engineers and data analysts.

The pandemic has only heightened companies' need to have ready access to timely, accurate, and relevant data. The data steward is best positioned to act as the guardian of both secure data protection and better analytic outcomes. If 2020 brought IT and Analytics teams together, 2021 promises to advance these relationships through more reliance on data stewards.

2)  Use of customer data exchanges will increasingly displace direct-buying. 2020 saw growth in both customer data platforms, like Segment, as well as the data marketplaces offered by the cloud service providers, like AWS. While many companies still purchase 3rd party data directly from the data brokers themselves, 2021 will see more activity via the data marketplaces that offer the benefits of broad data discovery, direct connections with the cloud service providers, and some data deduplication capabilities. Largely missing from most of this transformation are data governance and management functions, which will need to cooperate with the customer data exchanges to ensure data security, quality, and democratization.

3)  Data management vendors will continue to multiply. Consolidation will occur, but overall numbers will expand as enterprises build increasingly complex data architectures, adopt hybrid cloud ecosystems, and address data supply chain inefficiencies. The majority of vendors that offer unique value will remain, and those that address new data supply chain barriers will emerge.

The data management market has a long way to go before reaching maturity, and much opportunity exists across the data preparation, data governance, and data consumption areas.

4)  DataOps efficiency will become critical as COVID-19 advances. With cases on the rise, several vaccines in late-stage trials, and consumer behaviors shifted to heavy reliance on eCommerce, the pandemic will continue to put pressure on relevant industries, including pharma, healthcare, insurance, manufacturing, and logistics, to more effectively manage massive amounts of time-sensitive data.

COVID-19 treatments and vaccine development made timely data analysis, management, and governance key in 2020, and this importance will grow in 2021 as vaccine production, distribution, and analysis reach massive numbers of people worldwide.

In parallel, as cases rise over the winter and holiday season, consumers will escalate their online shopping activity. Companies with data supply chains that can act on timely customer signals and behaviors, use predictive analytics for marketing purposes, and work across data sources to derive insights will capture more digital buying opportunities.


About the Author

Ben Sharma 

Ben Sharma is the Co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Zaloni, a published author, and holds two patents for his innovative Big Data, Enterprise Infrastructure, and Analytics solutions. His impressive range of knowledge across data and business software disciplines has led him to leadership roles at leading companies like Fujitsu and NetApp before Zaloni.

Published Monday, January 11, 2021 7:38 AM by David Marshall
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