Layered data models have been with us for decades. During the 70’s, businesses communicated using proprietary networking architectures, such as the seven-layer IBM SNA model. Today, the six-layer OSI networking model, which is the basis of the Internet, has evolved to dominate business communications. It is interesting to view an Enterprise’s data flows from this stratified perspective. The lower, more technical levels don’t actually differentiate a business, but the higher, more ethereal layers embody the core values of an organization and are closely tied to how the market perceives it.
The following describes the five data layers, starting at the lowest level:
1 – IT infrastructure Management: A modern business is highly dependent on its IT infrastructure. Networks connect a business to its owned servers and cloud-based services. Availability and security services send alert data when anomalies, events and exceptions occur. In this context, IoT sensor-data streams must be ingested, analyzed and put into action in near real-time, while log data supports IT operations and service management functions.
2 – Finance: Budget and consumption data manages an organization’s profitability, while timekeeping and project management systems provide the cost of labor. Asset management, procurement and revenue management systems data make it possible to compare costs against income.
3 – Sales and Service Operations: Demand management, sales and service automation solutions operate outside the business. Marketing automation systems track prospective customers, while sales automation data enables revenue forecasting. Customer survey data and net promoter scores indicate service delivery performance and satisfaction.
4 – Governance, Risk, & Compliance (GRC): Governance processes rely on operational data to ensure controls are in place for regulatory compliance requirements. The board of directors and management team define risk thresholds that are embodied in business policies.
5 – Identity and Perception: At the highest level, the corporate identity is concerned with the perception of itself. The corporate media-relations function is acutely focused on continuously streaming data on customer perception and sentiment. Potential reputational damage must be managed with some urgency before it affects revenues and spooks shareholders. Competitive advantage is also monitored at this level, while threats from emerging companies and overlapping products from competitors also must be identified early to be mitigated before sales are impacted.
Blazent understands the crucial need for data quality at all these levels. Effective decisions must be based on data that is verified and accurate. The white paper, “How Blazent Delivers Transformative Value Through Actionable Intelligence,” linked here provides examples of how this is achieved.