Introduction

Your business faces major changes due to digital transformation. The only way to thrive during the complex transitions that are the inevitable part of your transformation journey is through data. By treating your data as the strategic asset that it is, you can successfully complete your journey in a way that differentiates you from the competition.

The good news is that most businesses today understand this: according to an Ernst & Young survey, more than 80% of organizations view data as a strategic asset.1 But this doesn’t mean they’re acting in a way that allows them to get the most from their data: less than half (49.5%) have put a formal data strategy in place, and less than 30% of financial executives said they have fully weighed the costs of poor-quality data.

This is because becoming data driven and accomplishing the admittedly ambitious goal of fully democratizing your data is not particularly easy. Each of the “five Vs” of big data—volume, velocity, variety, veracity, and value—has its own challenges. But the one we’re going to focus on in this report is arguably one of the top challenges to getting the most out of your data: variety. And not just the variety of data structures, formats, and types, but the variety of data meanings (i.e., semantics).

Of the five Vs, variety references the different types of data that can exist. When data variety is high, the complexity of the data increases, which is the chief reason businesses are seeking data ...

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