According to recent research, about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day, a considerable chunk of which originates from and is used by businesses from different parts of the world. Needless to say, effectively managing this much information is beyond human capability, with many now turning to cloud-based systems. But if you want to take advantage of the vast amounts of available data, you’ll need the right data management tools.
What Exactly is Data Management?
The Global Data Management Community (DAMA International) defines data management as “the development of architectures, policies, practices, and procedures to manage the data life cycle.” In everyday use, however, the term tends to have a much broader meaning that covers:
- Cloud Data Management – This pertains to the use of cloud-based storage applications to manage an organization’s data.
- Master Data Management – This is an approach in managing critical organizational information, such as transaction data, with the goal of minimizing redundancy.
- Reference Data Management – This is a method for managing reference data, which is used to define permissible values usable by other fields. Common examples of reference data include lists of countries, calendars, or product catalogs.
- ETL and Data Integration – This is the process of loading, transforming, and aggregating data from sources into formats that can be used in high-performance analyses.
- Data Analytics and Visualization – This involves processing information from both data sources and warehouses, so they can be put through advanced data analytics. Through this process, analysts and data scientists are able to present data visualizations and dashboards.
The best Cloud Data Management Tools
This top-rated online project management software is great for modern businesses. It has task automation, performance monitoring, and analytics among its core factors, which work well for co-located and distributed teams. Wrike also protects your data with its high-end security features. Its open API capabilities, meanwhile, ensure that it is flexible and scalable enough to adjust to the changing needs of businesses from any industry.
A free Wrike package is on offer, ideal for business owners running a small operation. Despite being free, the tool is superbly robust, featuring basic task management, collaboration, file sharing, and activity stream solutions, as well as advanced email and basic app integrations.
If you are looking to build your very own cloud data management stack, Amazon Web Services (AWS) could be a good direction to turn to. AWS currently offers and expansive set of tools—and more incoming—that will prove adequate for businesses of any size and from any sector.
These include Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier for short-term and long-term storage respectively, Amazon Redshift for data warehousing, and Amazon Quicksight for building dashboards and visualizing data, among others. What’s more, each service is billed separately, so you’re free to mix and match according to your business’ unique needs.
Google has become all the more ubiquitous, thanks to cloud-based data management components tied together by a great workflow or project manager. These components include BigQuery for tabular data storage, Cloud Datalab for code-based data science, and Cloud BigTable for NoSQL database-style storage, among others. Costs vary according to implementation, so you can have the exact solution you need for a price point within your budget.
The Best Master Data Management Tools
Profisee was designed to provide speed and visibility to its users at some of the lowest price points you can find today. It offers features like data modeling, data integration, data stewardship and governance, and event management, among others. Created to be scalable, it maintains its impressive performance despite changing demands.
Dell Boomi’s comprehensive Master Data Hub offers capabilities meant to empower users. It has the ability to create models without the need for a lot of code, as well as the ability to enact bi-directional process flows across different silos in real time, to name a few. Data stewarding also allows team members to quickly resolve duplicates and data entry errors.
Semarchu xDM offers fast, automated functionalities for modern businesses. It can load master data from various sources and automatically extract master data from any of the major SAP applications. The tool also allows for the integration of programmatic data using both APIs and web services. It is also highly scalable, with options for both on-premise setup and AWS support.
The Best Reference Data Management Tools
Collibra simplifies many of the processes in reference to data management. It can automate workflows for creating new codes and code sets and deliver these in a manner that users will easily understand. Collibra even allows you to compare data from different parts of your organization for added visibility.
Informatica is an end-to-end platform, which means that it covers almost everything your business may need. These include process management and embedded data integration. Its self-service feature allows you to use the software effectively even if you don’t have a technical background. Moreover, it is fully cloud-based, making it incredibly scalable.
Reltio Cloud’s graph-based platform is flexible and is designed to be easy to use. It allows you to define relationships across your data with ease. Reltio is also designed to integrate with other master data management applications easily, which is great if you already have one in place. Like Informatica, it is cloud-based, so you can upgrade it without any downtime.
The Best ETL and Data Integration Tools
SSIS uses Microsoft (MS) SQL Server to manage extract, transform, load (ETL) through a variety of handy features. These include a user-friendly graphical interface that eliminates the need to write any code for ETL. This makes SSIS ideal for teams whose members have varying technical savviness and skill levels.
Alooma allows high levels of flexibility by letting you write your own scripts to monitor your data and move them as needed. It even has built-in tools that protect your data from both loss and corruption, making Alooma ideal for businesses that need a fast, customizable, and reliable ETL management solution.
Fivetran has the ability to integrate data from SaaS services and databases into a single, secure data warehouse. It uses a caching layer not just for protection, but also to freely transport data without the need for a copy of the application server. It shines best when used in centralizing your business’ data to determine KPIs across the entire organization.
The Best Data Analytics and Visualization Tools
Tableau makes it easy to create dashboards using data gathered from web applications. Its dashboards are interactive and are available within a few minutes. Tableau is available both on the cloud and as the software you can download online.
Looker readily connects to databases without the need for you to download any additional software or extract large folders. It can use the data it gathers to create attractive dashboards that allow users, even those who are not tech-savvy, to explore and understand their contents. Looker is also cloud-based for added convenience, flexibility, and scalability.
Domo is highly user-friendly, allowing you to perform a wide variety of tasks when you have no coding knowledge. It allows you to work on your own server, with built-in encryption that protects whatever data you’re working on. Because of its security, it preferred by those who work on sensitive information, such as healthcare and government data.
Some experts call data the new oil, which means there’s much to gain from knowing how to use and manage it properly. Effective data management starts with having the right tools and thankfully, as you saw above, you have a lot of options whatever your needs may be.
What do you look for in data management systems? Tell us in the comments.