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Data can become lifeblood of businesses: AWS India President Puneet Chandok 

Data can become lifeblood of businesses: AWS India President Puneet Chandok 

Starting with unbound data, Chandok says - there are three Vs of data that are used quite frequently - velocity, volume and variety

Puneet Chandok, President, AWS India and South Asia at BT Tech Conclave Puneet Chandok, President, AWS India and South Asia at BT Tech Conclave

Addressing the keynote at Business Today’s Tech Conclave, Puneet Chandok, President, AWS India and South Asia (Amazon Internet Services) spoke about tapping the data boom in today’s age, the current data explosion and how businesses can use them.

Chandok says businesses ask three questions all the time - can they store all the relevant data that's coming their way from a ton of different sources, in the right way? Second, can organisations connect the dots from that data to get to the real insights that matter for the customers and their businesses? And number three - can they slice and dice this information anytime, anywhere, or reduce the cost of curiosity in their business?

While the questions are clear, there are no easy answers, says Chandok. There are three things that are happening in the data world that are relevant today. “Number one, we've seen a data explosion like never before. I call this unbound data. Number two, I know there are several people who say every business today is becoming a tech business or a technology business. I think that's an exaggeration, but I do believe every business today is becoming a data business and to become a data business you need data agility. So that's the second thing that's going on. And number three, Cloud is becoming the new foundation of the data journey for businesses. If you're able to build the data firing on the cloud, you can really reduce the cost of curiosity in your business, which can be a true competitive advantage,” avers Chandok.

He further unpacked each of the three trends - unbound data, need for data agility, and the cloud is the foundation for reducing curiosity, the cost of curiosity in your business. Starting with unbound data, Chandok says - there are three Vs of data that are used quite frequently - velocity, volume and variety, and all three of them are exploring. “The velocity of data, the volume of data coming your way, and the variety in terms of the diverse sources data are coming from is really increasing and it's coming at us at a lightning speed. Today, more data is created every hour, than all of the past 20 years put together. And guess what, more data will be created in the next three years than was created over the past 30 years. That's the volume of data, that's the velocity of data that's coming at us. And machines have surpassed humans as the largest data creators. In the data world 80-70-60 rule is used quite frequently, which basically implies that 80 per cent of all global data will be unstructured in the next couple of years, 70 per cent of this is unstructured data, by the way, is email that we all work a ton on, and 60 per cent of this data that's moving around, carries business-critical data.”

While this unbound data is all around us and it's increasing in velocity and speed, we are not being very successful as businesses to harness this data. Sharing another statistic, Chandok says 68 per cent of data available to businesses today is going under leverage.

Shifting gears to the second point, Chandok talked about the need for data agility. “Now more than ever we need data ability in businesses. And before I get into the how, what does data agility even mean? Data agility is when a business can really harness and leverage the data that they have as an asset, they can explore possibilities without really defining requirements in advance. Businesses can get fast feedback on the results, and use that feedback to constantly modify and iterate on their approach, allowing them to adapt really quickly.

Businesses can come up with new hypotheses, which can be tested at speed, and then they could keep moving on and keep iterating and trying things which are the right things for their customers and their businesses. Basically knowing what to do when they don’t know what to do. If a business today is able to store every relevant data point for their business and have the ability to analyse that data down to the real insights, data will then become the lifeblood for your business.”

Answering the third question that businesses often ask about how they can make it happen in the Cloud, Chandok responded that the first thing businesses have to realise is that people, tools and the old data stores that have existed over the last 20 to 30 years are not going to cut it anymore. Every single type of data stored today is being reinvented and will be reinvented multiple times over. And that's where Cloud comes in. “Businesses are seeing that legacy data storage, storage hardware that they're used to, is great at creating data silos and locking into these hardware refresh cycles. But if they want to be fast and make decisions quickly, they need to be on the cloud.” Cloud can reduce the cost of curiosity in your business, it can make curiosity actionable for those who want to measure everything.

But to make this happen, Chandok gives three ideas to businesses. First is to have the will to invent and reinvent. Businesses have to acknowledge that they can't fight gravity. Businesses will have to build a culture of urgency and experiments in organisation and will need data agility to make that happen. Second is the call to action by putting data to work by building your own data flywheel on the cloud. “That requires a few building blocks to come together, you have to break free from the legacy databases and mostly manage databases in the cloud because that removes the undifferentiated heavy lifting that you and your data professionals have to do to modernise your data warehouses, and you have to think about building your apps as data-driven apps.” Third is using the platform that gives businesses the most depth and breadth of capabilities, the platform that gives them the most choice for data professionals.