Data Sharing refers to the processes and technologies that enable multiple applications, systems, users, and business partners to access and exchange data.
Why Is Data Sharing Important?
Data sharing is important because it provides secure, high-quality data sets to benefit data consumers and organizations. They enjoy trusted data that a publisher curates, maintains, and refreshes. Some publishers recoup the cost of providing data by licensing it to subscribers. It is a more efficient and effective means of distributing data than having multiple uncontrolled copies of data in circulation.
Data Sharing Methods
There are many ways to share data, and there are vended, open-source and homegrown means. These include:
The data publisher can make data files available on a shared disk volume or file system folder outside a firewall. A password protects the data, and it is read-only. File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) allow consumers to copy data to their intranet or cloud-based file store.
Cloud service providers, including Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, offer scalable file stores such as S3, allowing consumers to access data using just a URL and security credentials. The benefit of the cloud is that physical volume sizes and storage capacity do not constrain these file systems.
A web service can use a publish and subscribe mechanism such as Apache Kafka to make data available to subscribers, such as applications using an API. The back-end data can be streamed file records and database records. The data format can use a self-describing form such as JSON or XML to reduce coding effort on the client side.
Many applications such as gaming, trading, navigation, and weather services need real-time data. In these cases, a publisher can transmit data to the consuming application as it’s created.
One of the simplest means of data sharing is simply making a data file available through a link on a webpage. This form of data distribution is easy to set up and uses protocols such as Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), which all web browsers support.
Benefits of Data Sharing
Below are some of the many benefits of data sharing:
- Publishers get to control the data they disseminate. If an error is found or the data changes for any reason, it can be updated in one place.
- Consumers get a curated and well-maintained copy of the data they need without creating and administering their own version.
- Users will gravitate towards the highest quality and most authoritative source of data. For example, it makes sense to use the published launch schedule of a SpaceX flight on the SpaceX website.
- Data publishers can charge for their data. Organizations like Refinitiv publish high-quality stock information on their Elektron feed that uses Vector columnar databases to deliver data in less than 20 milliseconds.
- Data sharing accelerates innovation. For example, Oxford University uses Actian technology to share its clinical trial research data with other researchers around the globe to accelerate the search for cures and treatments.
- Through it, an organization can democratize its data to increase collaboration. The alternative is data siloed within different business units operating independently, often duplicating effort.
- Shared data increases transparency and corporate efficiency as fewer copies of data need to be maintained. Subject matter experts tend to become data owners for the benefit of the entire organization.
- In a competitive market, data sharing can make organizations more agile and responsive to changes in the market and the competitive landscape.
Data Sharing Example With Actian
Data is essential for healthcare professionals to understand patients’ well-being, share diagnostic data, and coordinate care across providers. Sharing data can ensure care is coordinated across care providers.
In healthcare, real-time data is essential for sharing test results, prescribing medications, and coordinating insurance coverage. Centralized patient records systems accelerate data sharing to reduce the risk of errors in diagnosis and treatment. More broadly, data sharing across hospitals, pharmaceutical researchers, and drug manufacturers accelerate the research for treatments.
DataConnect is a data integration platform that enables organizations to share data. Data sharing from diagnostic equipment, test results, XRAY, and CT scan imaging improves clinicians’ productivity and patient care. DataConnect shares data securely to improve patient outcomes without risk.
The Actian Data Platform
The Actian Data Platform is ideal for sharing and consuming data for analysis. Pre-built connectors to hundreds of data sources make data integration easy. Organizations can store and transmit data securely using strong encryption. Data can be self-managed or made available using a subscription to a cloud service that includes AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud.