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        Data in 2021: Ventana Research Market Agenda

        Ventana Research recently announced its 2021 Market Agenda for data, continuing the guidance we have offered for nearly two decades to help organizations derive optimal value and improve business outcomes.

        Market Agenda Logo 2021 (1)

        Data volumes continue to grow while data latency requirements continue to shrink. Meanwhile, virtually every organization is confronting a need for good data governance which we assert will be a primary concern of three-quarters of Chief Data Officers. Organizations require assistance to understand how to deal with these changes. To help, we craft our Market Agenda using our firm’s expertise on business requirements and our knowledge of technology vendors and products. Through our continuous market research, we offer insights and best practices for both the lines of business and IT as well as insights across industry verticals that will help any organization reach its maximum potential.

        Ventana Research offers guidance on data and information management to help expand information competencies. In our research, we explore smarter storage, computing, integration, virtualization, governance and preparation in order to uncover, and advocate for, new methods of using information effectively. Our data practice includes six focus areas: Data Governance, Data Integration, Data Lakes, Data Operations, Data Platforms and Streaming Data and Events.

        Data Governance


        Data governance ensures that an organization’s data can be catalogued, trusted and protected. Too often, organizations have adopted new data types without ensuring that the requisite data governance is in place. Fortunately, data catalogs have made governance “enabling” rather than “disabling” by making it easier to find and understand data. Unfortunately, data catalogs appear to be proliferating and organizations risk having silos of catalog information. Organizations also face an imperative to develop and implement a data governance strategy that includes all types of data. We assert that through 2023, three-quarters of Chief Data Officers’ primary concerns will be governing the privacy and security of their organization’s data. Our Data Governance Benchmark Research investigates organizations’ needs, plans and attitudes on data governance.

        Data Integration

        Data integration enables organizations to integrate, transform and prepare data into usable information to maximize the value of analyses and operational use of the data. Business users increasingly expect to access data sources directly without requiring support from IT. Organizations will need to adopt strategies to integrate streaming data into their information architectures. Effective data integration strategies also need to be more responsive to new information sources and accommodate the variety of data organizations can collect. This year, we will continue to study integration in all of our data research.

        Data Lakes


        Data lakes combine massive storage capabilities for any type of data, in any format, with the processing power needed to transform and analyze the data. Most organizations are combining and integrating their data lakes and data warehouses. Object stores are playing an increasing role as the storage platform for data lakes, and many organizations are implementing their data lakes in the cloud. We assert that by 2022, more than one-half of all organizations will use cloud-based technology as their primary data lake platform, making it easier to adopt and scale operations as necessary. The proliferation of unstructured data also means that organizations must deal with multiple storage architectures. We will continue to study data lakes this year in our ongoing Dynamic Insights research.

        Data Operations

        Data operations has emerged as a way for organizations to be more flexible in their data processes. Data sources and targets change. Organizations transition to new data and analytics tools and migrate systems to the cloud. Lines of business adopt new business processes. Data operations addresses these issues while maintaining the appropriate reliability and governance that organizations require. Meta data and automation are the pillars upon which data operations rests. We have multiple ongoing Benchmark Research projects studying these issues, including Data Governance and Analytics and Data.

        Data Platforms

        Enterprise data platforms are designed to address big data challenges, enabling organizations to leverage their data to deliver better service to customers, operate with greater efficiency and strengthen security. The data platforms must be optimized for hybrid and multi-cloud environments, delivering the same data-management capabilities across on-premises, private and public clouds. A modern data platform must not only provide a way to manage big data, but also the functionality to analyze that data, run machine learning algorithms and share information across departments with minimal friction. Our ongoing Big Data for Business Benchmark Research continues to explore these issues and their impact on organizations.

        Streaming Data and Events


        Data and events are streaming into organizations at an unprecedented rate. An increasing number of devices are instrumented and connected in order to generate data. Organizations will face pressure to utilize ML with internet of things data to enable operational intelligence. Furthermore, big data and streaming technologies, combined with data science, enable continuous analytics. We assert that by 2024, more than one-half of all organizations’ standard information architectures will include streaming data and event processing, allowing organizations to be more responsive and provide better customer experiences. Our ongoing Benchmark Research on IoT and our Streaming Data Dynamic Insights will investigate the challenges and benefits of these continuous streams of data.

        Today, there is more data than ever and it is available at an increasingly fast pace. Taking advantage of this data is critical to success and organizations need guidance on how best to manage and distribute this valuable resource.

        Subscribe to our Ventana Research community to stay up-to-date on our 2021 research efforts. Check out the Data topic and focus pages for our detailed research agenda and continuously updated 90-day calendar as well as more research facts and best practices.




        David Menninger
        Executive Director, Technology Research

        David Menninger leads technology software research and advisory for Ventana Research, now part of ISG. Building on over three decades of enterprise software leadership experience, he guides the team responsible for a wide range of technology-focused data and analytics topics, including AI for IT and AI-infused software.


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        • Ventana Research’s Analyst Perspectives are fact-based analysis and guidance on business, industry and technology vendor trends. Each Analyst Perspective presents the view of the analyst who is an established subject matter expert on new developments, business and technology trends, findings from our research, or best practice insights.

          Each is prepared and reviewed in accordance with Ventana Research’s strict standards for accuracy and objectivity and reviewed to ensure it delivers reliable and actionable insights. It is reviewed and edited by research management and is approved by the Chief Research Officer; no individual or organization outside of Ventana Research reviews any Analyst Perspective before it is published. If you have any issue with an Analyst Perspective, please email them to

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