How to Unlock the Value of AI with a Sound Data Strategy

Data and artificial intelligence (AI) are quickly becoming integral assets that drive competitive advantage and innovation. Microsoft has been at the forefront of releasing new tools around data analytics and AI, setting the stage for a significant transformation in how companies operate and compete. But to fully leverage these powerful tools, organizations need to have the proper platform in place — one grounded in a comprehensive data strategy.

Since the mainstream announcements surrounding generative AI in 2023, we have seen a significant uptick in interest and investment in data strategies. Specifically, how to create a sound data foundation that will allow them to take advantage of AI. With that in mind, I recently hosted an executive workshop with some of my esteemed Hitachi Solutions colleagues titled AI Readiness Roadmap: Guide to Unlocking Value with a Sound Data Strategy.

Now available on-demand, the workshop provides comprehensive info to help transform your business through effective data strategies and AI integration. We explore the complexities of modern data and why it is so important to have the right data architecture and strategies in place before embarking on your AI journey. There’s also a video summary you can watch as well — The 6 Pillars of a Data-driven Enterprise!

Here are a few key highlights to check out:

Following the 6 Pillars of Data and AI Success

AI is set to revolutionize how organizations work. But the best AI tools require the best data and, unfortunately, many businesses struggle to manage their vast and disparate data resources. This can result in many missed AI and analytics opportunities.

Hitachi Solutions has been helping customers modernize old and outdated data estates for 20 years. We know that to take advantage of the powerful capabilities of AI and analytics, you need to start with a comprehensive data strategy.

To help customers develop the appropriate strategies for their organization, our experts developed six pillars of a sound data modernization plan. So when advising customers on their digital data initiatives, we always use these pillars as our guide:

  1. Business-led Roadmap — Create a roadmap that is guided by business stakeholders and executives to ensure data initiatives serve a business purpose, align with your value drivers, and maximize outcomes.
  2. Comprehensive Talent strategy — Develop a talent strategy to help you focus on planning for future resources and on upskilling and reskilling current employees to prepare them for more strategic roles in the new data-driven environment.
  3. Solid Operating Model — Define how data is shared and utilized across the organization to enhance its value and help you better leverage AI. It’s important to develop data policies for all business functions and external interactions.
  4. Technology Solutions — Identify the technology solutions and tools needed to ensure alignment with the business-led roadmap to drive even more value from your data and initiatives.
  5. Data Management and Governance — Establish clear ownership and maturity models to make sure the right skills sets and decision-making processes are in place. This is crucial for maintaining data integrity, security, and compliance.
  6. Adoption and Scaling — Prepare employees for the impact of new technology and changes in their roles, and ensure these new capabilities are effectively disseminated across the global enterprise for true success.

By following these six pillars, you can plan and achieve a data-driven future state that empowers better decision-making and strategic growth.

Setting the Right Data Foundation for Your Strategy

Data serves as the foundation of every modern business strategy. But today’s data landscape is complex. To prepare for digital transformation and AI integration, you must have comprehensive data strategies that streamline data management, unify various data sources, and facilitate secure and scalable analytics.

This involves addressing challenges such as data extraction, transformation, and storage, while ensuring data democratization and compliance. Important for success is a data platform that supports operational efficiency and innovation and empowers users with actionable insights through AI-driven tools. Fundamentals include:

  • Complete Analytics Platform
    • Supports and unifies all data sources
    • Easy to maintain and scale
    • Secures and governs data with appropriate policies and tools
  • Lake-centric and Open Platform
    • Centralizes data and provides accessible data storage
    • Distributes data for shared use among business users and data owners
    • Enables data sharing without duplication
  • Accessible and Actionable DataEmpowers business users with intuitive, familiar tools
    • Integrates with everyday applications for natural, seamless use
  • AI-powered Solutions
    • Leverages AI insights through tools like Copilot and ChatGPT
  • Trusted and Secure Data
    • Enhances productivity and natural data interaction
    • Ensures data security and protection with encryption, role-based access control, and compliance standards

Introducing the Empower Data Platform

Do you have lots of data and aren’t sure what to do with it? Does it come from all different sources and locations and in many different formats? Is it a costly nightmare to manage?

We hear this every day from our customers and that is why we developed the Hitachi Solutions Empower Data Platform (Empower). It’s a one-stop shop for the management of a modern data estate — simplifying data centralization and orchestration from within your Microsoft Azure subscription. Top features include:

  • Out-of-the-box configuration means rapid deployment within a day and data flow within a week
  • Acquires data from 200+ sources and many formats and supported by your Azure Lakehouse
  • Intuitive user interface that’s easy to use, customize, and manage
  • Transforms your data into useful analytics and insightful Power BI reports

Empower acts as an analytics rocket, helping you unleash incredible value from your data quickly and painlessly.

Next Steps

If you like what you’ve read so far, I invite you to watch The 6 Pillars of a Data-driven Enterprise video and the complete webinar — AI Readiness Roadmap: Guide to Unlocking Value with a Sound Data Strategy — on-demand. You’ll gain great tips and tricks for creating a robust data strategy that positions your organization for success in the AI-driven future. You’ll learn how to navigate the complexities of data integration and management, and you’ll see firsthand how tools like Empower can streamline your data operations.

The Hitachi Solutions AI Advantage

As mentioned, Hitachi Solutions is an award-winning Microsoft partner with a team of seasoned data scientists and AI experts. We’re here to help you prepare and modernize your data estate, better understand the Microsoft AI solutions landscape, and determine which solutions offer the most value and best outcomes for your company.

If you would like to learn more about how Hitachi Solutions and Microsoft are empowering customers to achieve more with AI, contact us today.