Reduce the clutter: How to rationalize your data stack

by | Sep 4, 2022 | Technology

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Big Data keeps getting bigger. In 2021, the Big Data Landscape grew to 2,025 technological tools, all promising to help businesses solve their data needs. The “pared down” version still offers seven categories and 96 sub-categories, with tools ranging from the old guard to cutting edge. To navigate this landscape, businesses need a framework to ensure they understand their needs and leverage tools to help them get the most out of data.

Enter technology rationalization, a framework for assessing your data needs, prioritizing and road mapping those needs, and then finding the best tool for the job. It isn’t just about adding new tools and technologies. It’s primarily about assessing what your data needs and whether what you currently have is the best fit. Technology rationalization helps businesses assess needs, leverage tools effectively and cut bloat from their data stack.

Celebrity chef Alton Brown can help guide you. If you’re an Alton fan like me, you know he has a rule against “unitaskers,” kitchen devices created for a single task. 

Alton’s “no single-use tools” rule can be applied to company data stacks as well. Much like I am reluctant to invest in a cherry pitter when I already have a paring knife, I always think twice about recommending single-use data tools in a data stack. If you don’t understand your business needs and how data can support them, you risk buying that cherry pitter only to have it gathering dust and taking up valuable kitchen real estate.

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