The present is the future of the past. Infrastructures are some of the key indications of man’s progress from then till now. Infrastructure is the term used to refer to roads, buildings, bridges, and other physical structures we see around us.
Technology at present advances at a fast pace. It has been another indication of progress as infrastructures today work with the aid of technology. Infrastructure refers not only to the computers and other physical aspects of technology, but also to the intangible data, computer programs, and systems that accompany them.
Data has been the driving force of every human activity, business, economy, etc. Everyone calls the current era the Age of Information, thus, the need for valuable data exists. The future offers various paths to arrive at it. One option to consider is to continue the journey treading our path to the future with sustainable data infrastructure.
Data infrastructure is a network of data, processes, policies, technology, laws, standards, investment, framework, and people.
Reporting, analyzing, and ulitizing this Data is for application-specific developmental goals. Process refers to the collection, storage, maintenance, distribution, use, reuse, etc. of data. Policies and guidelines set limits for access to specific information. These policies also regulate the tools for accessing, manipulating, and using data. Laws are regulatory instruments for copyright protection, competition, privacy, and liability issues. Data infrastructure standards ensure harmony, portability, maintainability, and interoperability of data. Financial investment creates, operates, maintains, and sustains data infrastructures. The people refer to the suppliers of data, hardware, software, and technical support. Or, the users of supplier items, and the management staff that signifies the importance of human resources to data infrastructures. Framework connects the people and data.
These components of data infrastructure enable various users and consumers to maximize the value of data to meet the needs of society.
A bridge is an infrastructure analogous to data infrastructure. The bridge consists of hardware and software, as well as all other resources, and is to provide passage over any obstacle. These resources refer to all the minute and big components and processes of the bridge. The structural steel or concrete, cables, bridge traffic loading, and control process, the people and equipment that maintain the bridge, bridge infrastructures and regulations, and everything on it – to serve its purpose.
Like the bridge in the example, data infrastructure is more than the physical and technical infrastructure. It needs intensive planning, investment, implementation, maintenance, and monitoring. This ensures the delivery of its use and value according to its purpose for the achievement of the common good.
The use of data helps producers, manufacturers, and governments arrive at sound decisions. Thus, allowing them to create various products and services appropriate for the public good. Data infrastructures must be of high quality, open, and at the same time able to protect privacy, keep national security, and uphold confidentiality to make the most of data.
For the development of education, health, transport, communication, socio-economic, environmental, and all other government and private sectors, data users can create specific data infrastructures from sound decisions. This allows all these infrastructures to become interconnected and workable among all other data infrastructures.
Data is the basis of making sound decisions and of using specific raw materials to create various goods and services for all endeavors. The users will just have to place appropriate strategic and operational policies to build and maintain trust. They must ensure they ethically use data, and engagement informs decisions using the data. Users should also have equitable access and benefits to data. Thus, a nation or the specific sector has the tools to effectively and efficiently allocate and manage resources to achieve desirable developmental goals.
To ensure the path to the future, users must keep in mind these important notes to build sustainable data infrastructure.
The collection of relevant data enables correct and informed decisions. A structuring process of data collection avoids the risks of collecting irrelevant data that may affect decisions and processes in the long run.
Prioritize goals to facilitate the decision of choosing data you will use to maximize its value according to your specific purpose.
Leverage databases and business intelligence tools for effective and efficient understanding and analysis of data among your people.
Build ETL (Extract, Load, Process) pipeline. ETL pipeline is the process of moving, consolidating, and altering (extract, transform, load) data to match the parameters of destination databases. An ETL pipeline prepares data for reporting, analysis, and utilization for intended purposes.
Place your databases to a data infrastructure center housing a data warehouse. A repository of all data allows users to analyze, report and use data for insights that lead to product and service development for the common good.
Secure and audit data to remove irregularities and irrelevance, and understand queries from logs. Thus, building stronger authentication and authorization processes or restrict access within datasets.
Through sustainable data infrastructure, the value of data is maximized. It paves the way for the development of products and services that develop every aspect of our life.
In this information age, we are exposed to a lot of data that tends to overwhelm us. Thereby, affecting our decision in preparing a path for our future. Data that are supposed to be beneficial may put us at risk if utilized improperly. Thus, creating sustainable data infrastructure, allows us to mitigate the risks through policies, laws, and standards. Plus, maximize the value of data to not only address the various societal needs but build a brighter tomorrow, the future of today.