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28/04/2016

IBM DataWorks: the key to unlocking insight from data

As Big Data projects move beyond the hype and into an age of fruition, it is becoming widely accepted that using data both internal and external to the enterprise can unlock great value in terms of understanding the past and predicting the future. Use cases vary across departments, from better understanding of your customers or employees, to improving the maintenance of machinery through the Internet of Things.

Data management no longer centers solely on the ability to store and process data. New perspectives focus on the users of — and uses for — all the information businesses are collecting. Managing that information means supporting better decisions and delivering value to support business processes and new opportunities for analysis. However, raw data needs to be refined, cleansed, shaped and formatted and in general prepared in order to unlock its true value. According to a recent report by Forrester, business analysts, data scientists and other knowledge workers are spending up to 80% of their time finding, refining and wrangling data to be used for analytics. While traditional data integration tools have their place, as self-service analytics becomes the new utopia of a data strategy, skills are often too scarce to fulfill requests for clean and relevant data, leading to weeks, months and sometimes years of delays in analytics project.

To overcome the current paradigm, where too much time is spent preparing rather than analysing data, business users must be empowered to self-serve and prepare their data in a fraction of the time and effort required by traditional tools. DataWorks addresses this challenge by providing easy-to-use data preparation and data movement on the cloud, accessible to both technical and non-technical users.

DataWorks is a fully managed self-service data preparation and movement service which enables you to easily access, combine and transform data. It provides the ability to get instant access to your data where it is stored, either on the cloud or on-premises. Users can bring data together from multiple relevant data sources to create powerful insights and then transform the data by refining, shaping and cleansing it, using a robust set of transformation actions, and then deliver it with confidence to their desired target for analytics.

It’s simple and fully managed by IBM, so you can sleep better at night with Pay-as-you-go and subscription pricing options to get started quickly. As part of IBM Bluemix, a platform-as-a-service, it’s powered by Spark for a speedy and responsive experience, can easily integrate data across different platforms, and is seamlessly integrated with Watson Analytics, dashDB and Cloudant.

DataWorks empowers non-technical and technical users to simply put data to work and different roles within an organization benefit from the value of DataWorks:

  • Business analysts and data scientists can easily find and use the data they need to accelerate data based business decisions using timely, accurate and trusted information.
  • Developers can quickly develop data-rich applications by embedding the DataWorks service REST API (Application Programming Interface) into new or existing applications.
  • Data engineers can enable self-service access data access to end users using elastic deployment through the cloud and deliver the data faster while maintaining important controls such as data governance and security.

With DataWorks, today’s knowledge workers can access hybrid data wherever it is, by leveraging connectivity to the most common and widely used data sources and secure gateway technology to reach into on-premises data, including data that is stored behind enterprise firewalls. Users can access data from multiple sources and combine it to produce more relevant and complete datasets, as well as shape raw data by using automated scores to assess the quality, filter unwanted values, remove columns and sort the data.

DataWorks, provides the data refinery for IBM’s broader set of Cloud Data Services. Once a user is satisfied with the shape of the data, they can deliver it to integrated cloud data services like dashDB and Watson Analytics or Cloudant by using the capabilities provided to map structured data to semi-structured data and normalise it into a tabular data structure. Please use the Contact Us page to initiate a discussion about how this could work for you.

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