What Is a Unified Data Platform?

Here’s an irony that can really get in an organization’s way: Success depends on a range of factors, but those factors tend to be viewed separately, without ever connecting the dots their interplay can provide. That is, the current state of your organization is not the result of any single cause but of myriad factors, from internal financials to employee behaviors to the way your customers shop. 

Are you, like so many organizations we encounter, keeping pieces of data and entire datasets sequestered in their own little siloes? It’s easy to do, and yet it’s kind of like looking at a thread rather than seeing the pattern of the whole tapestry.  

For organizations facing this challenge, a unified data platform offers a solution that brings all these pieces of data together into one view. Here’s how it works, and how you can benefit. 

How a Unified Data Platform Works 

Over the years, your data has been collected from disparate sources. As a result, that data has been stored in disparate places as well. Some of it may be on the cloud, some may sprawl across multiple on-premise servers, and some may be stored away on someone’s personal hard drive. 

In cases like this, the data is “federated,” or separated across multiple repositories. A unified data platform uses data virtualization to create a consolidated database that brings all this information together into one place. In doing so, it gives you access to a complete, secure picture of what’s really going on in your business. This further enables your team to conduct better, more accurate analyses that go much deeper than was previously possible. With a unified data platform, your data is empowered to reveal new opportunities (as well as new threats). 

What Are the Benefits of a Unified Data Platform? 

Complex problems have complex causes. Unifying your data empowers you not only to better understand the challenge at hand but to create a solution to properly fix it. Here are a couple of real-world examples. 

In 2012, Indiana’s infant mortality rate stood at 7.7 deaths per 1,000 births, putting the state in the bottom 20% nationally. Because infant mortality is such a complicated issue, affected by factors like poverty, education, and other social determinants, the Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) conducted an analysis that unified data from previously unlinked sources. This allowed IDOH to see a much more complete picture of the problem. As a result, the state developed a plan that helped it achieve its lowest-ever infant mortality rate in 2020. 

Here’s another example: As the opioid crisis devastated individuals, families, and economies across the country, local governments struggled to get a handle on the scale of the problem and how to address it. To help tackle this public health issue, Resultant developed the Data-Driven Addiction Prevention and Recovery holistic methodology that unified state, local, and community data. This unified data platform enabled local governments to do a better job of preventing addiction and helping people to succeed in recovery. 

In both these examples, a unified data platform was the key factor in helping to solve complex problems by connecting previously disparate data. These examples enacted huge improvements to peoples’ health and lives by harnessing data. What could your business accomplish with your own unified platform? 

How a Unified Data Platform Could Boost Your Business 

Whether you’re trying to understand the nuanced behavior of your customers, working to solve complicated logistical challenges, or just want to exercise the full power of the information you already have, a unified data platform is the first step toward reaping the full benefits of your data. 

Done correctly, this level of analysis can reveal trends and truths about the state of your business and give you the information you need to make the best choices. It can also help make your organization more competitive while transforming the way that you work. You’re already collecting data, but are you using it to its full potential? 

We help clients use data to inform better decision-making. Learn how. 



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