The Brave New World of BI for File Storage and Management

The term BI is nothing new—it’s a decade-old throwback that hearkens to a simpler time, when people first discovered that the data created within business systems could be interpreted to make more informed business decisions. Now, as we round the end of the first half of 2021, what was once a nice-to-have is imperative to business success and as much a part of business as an ERP or CRM.

However, like so many “must-haves,” achieving real business intelligence for many is still somewhat of an elusive art. Whether it’s not understanding the data (unstructured data can be its own kind of monster), not being able to access data due to having disparate systems, or simply not having the budget for professionals to build and maintain a custom application—BI still isn’t easy all these years later.

Or is it? Interestingly, some tech advances have made aspects of BI more difficult or complex (ERPs, I’m looking in your direction), while other advances have made it as easy as an application. Why is that? The answer centers around intent.

For ERPs, it’s understood that professionals will show up and connect all disparate systems that speak to the ERP, and charge an outrageous amount of money—only to result in nobody actually actioning any of the data provided.

Then, of course, there is the flip side of the coin—companies like Scale Logic that build BI into a greater solution set that runs more like an appliance than anything else. Because in a day and age where you can manage the entirety of corporate finance from a tablet, business intelligence shouldn’t be hard.

The secret is to start by thinking of data and analytics differently. In our particular case, analytics should be thought of in a way that help content creators manage large amounts of data across a range of projects. That necessitates the provision of detailed analytics around file usage.

So how is that BI? Well, in a world where projects can generate millions of individual assets, users require a clear picture of two things: actual storage usage, and all the files stored across different systems in the infrastructure. And not so different than the aforementioned ERP scenario, disparate systems are just as prominent in the media and entertainment industry as anywhere else—with storage being on-prem, remote or in the cloud.

In this case, what adds true value is an analytical approach that uses a purpose-built tool to help identify old and unused files—delivering detailed insights into data changes, file duplication and used space overtime. In short, BI is designed to help deal with managing large amounts of data growth, by providing detailed storage analytics.

Sounds good, right? But what does any of this mean for your business? For one, there’s the benefit of file management. Imagine being able to easily navigate and discover the files residing on all your storage devices in your infrastructure. Game changer, right? Now, what if you added a Projects View to the ecosystem? This would immediately provide insights—enabling you to know all the files related to that ecosystem that may be scattered across multiple storage solutions. This in turn would enable federated data from different storage units, immediate visualization of each project’s allocated space, and an accurate account of costs associated with the data for any given project.

However, with all the data in the world, I go back to my previous “appliance” reference. BI is great when it’s easy. When it’s difficult, people simply walk away.

The true key to BI is visualization through dashboarding—providing easily digestible data that can be actioned at any time. It’s about having a quick overview of your biggest storage variations, most active projects, file usage, duplicated files, and more—all in one place.

The good news is that this is not hard to achieve. The bad news is that you are losing out on real BI every day you don’t have it. This is a risk to your business that you need to fix immediately. And guess what—Scale Logic can help.