Demand for ‘data professionals’ of all stripes continues to grow at a seemingly insatiable rate. The trend is now pervasive across almost any industry, and any department or any individual role within. The mainstream has nearly universally embraced the current aspiration standard in strategic thinking and culture – to be data-driven. Organizations are clearly striving to adapt and modernize their systems, processes, and workforce to be more productive and to remain competitive in an increasingly data-driven world.

However, from a tools and systems perspective, organizations are still struggling to catch up with the times. The complexity of designing, implementing and executing data-driven processes has spawned a new class of applications, systems, and services dedicated to dealing with the challenges inherent in data collection, extraction, validation, analysis/transformation, visualization and distribution of data. We continue to encounter organizations that rely heavily on outdated technology – systems originally licensed in a decade(s) past; applications developed in-house but in desperate state of disrepair and unable to meet current demands; or perhaps most notoriously, massively bloated spreadsheets with hidden errors accumulated over many years of undocumented, un-auditable manual adjustments.
The impact on the workforce is just as profound as if a generation gap in skillet and mindset is being exposed. Often times, this is the biggest challenge in shifting towards a data-driven orientation. Seasoned professionals and subject matter experts may be found lacking the fundamental skills and perceptions to efficiently handle tasks, processes, and initiatives in a data-driven work environment. A new benchmark is quickly being established, far above and beyond the traditional baseline of word processors, spreadsheets and slide decks. How to retain domain expertise, while empowering staff with relevant data management and analysis skills, tools and platforms that fit the modern demands of data-driven business processes and decision-making?
From a higher level organizational perspective, there are numerous challenges to becoming more data-driven. How to manage incoming data flows in a controlled, normalized manner? Who, or what system is responsible for validating that the data is complete and correct? Is the data easily accessible in a digestible format for those who need it? Are the appropriate tools available for analysis and transformation in an intuitive manner? Is there a standardized framework for distributing reports or integrating with downstream systems? How much visibility does a user have into the data-driven process? Can the process be automated? Clearly, there are endless opportunities for organizations to evolve as new tools and systems become available.
It has been more than 10 years since ZE first launched its award-winning ZEMA Suite, and over that time, we have grown alongside the industry around us. As a foundation platform for centralized, automated data management and analysis, ZEMA is more relevant now than ever, providing a comprehensive and intuitive framework for businesses to configure their data-driven processes, including seamless integration with tools such as R, Python, Matlab, Tableau, Spotfire, Power BI and more. As a service provider, ZE offers both technical and business expertise in managing complex data systems and processes, with an extensive understanding of the challenges facing organizations as they seek to modernize both their workforce and the systems that empower their users. For further information.