How Robotic Data Automation Fabric(RDAF) Could Automate Data Pipelines

Originally published in Forbes.

AI has certainly become the hallmark of the digital transformation strategy. According to IDC, global AI spending is forecasted to reach $500 billion in 2024 with a CAGR of 17.5%. Likewise, Gartner predicts low-code application platforms (LCAP), robotic process automation (RPA), and AI are fueling the growth for hyperautomation, and the market will reach $596 billion in 2022, up nearly 24%.

Hyperautomation has become paramount, as businesses “will require more IT and business process automation as they are forced to accelerate digital transformation plans in a post-Covid-19, digital-first world,” according to Gartner VP Fabrizio Biscotti.

In spite of this growth, up to 73% of company data is unused for analytics and insights, according to Forrester. Businesses have also faced challenges because most predictive models only use historical data and not streaming (i.e., real-time) data.

Enterprises‌ ‌have‌ ‌struggled‌ ‌to‌ ‌collaborate‌ ‌well ‌around‌ ‌their‌ ‌data, which inhibits their ability to adopt‌ transformative‌ ‌applications‌ ‌like‌ ‌AI. A recent KPMG survey also reports, for example, that 78% of CEOs in the U.S. did not use data-driven insights because the insights were siloed and could not translate to the entire organization.

A‌ 2019‌ ‌Gartner‌ ‌survey‌ ‌found‌ ‌that‌ ‌the‌ ‌top‌ ‌four‌ ‌challenges‌ companies‌ ‌faced were ‌security‌ ‌or‌ ‌privacy‌ ‌concerns‌ ‌(30%)‌, ‌the complexity‌ ‌of‌ ‌AI‌ ‌integration‌ ‌with‌ ‌existing‌ ‌infrastructure‌ ‌(30%)‌, ‌data‌ ‌volume‌ ‌or‌ ‌complexity‌ ‌(22%), and‌ ‌potential‌ ‌risks‌ ‌or‌ ‌liabilities‌ ‌(22%).‌ They also found that it could take eight months or longer to integrate an ML model into enterprise applications.

The ability to analyze data from disparate sources and make holistic decisions using BI, AI, and cloud-native applications is paramount for the “augmented consumer,” a business user persona who is looking to be empowered to run on-demand, customized, conversational analytics dashboards across disparate business applications.

Robotic Data Automation Fabric(RDAF)

In order to solve these challenges, it is important to work with an ecosystem that can automate data integration and data preparation activities. Companies like Snowflake, CloudFabrix, and Dremio have developed a new strategy, Robotic Data Automation Fabric (RDAF) — that is similar to what Gartner refers to as XOps — to automate data pipelines across disparate data sources in a manner similar to how RPA has transformed business processes.

RDAF leverages both historical and real-time datasets using low-code and no-code data bots for on-the-fly data integration, data cleansing, data transformation, and data contextualization. It complements ecosystems that use ETL and ELT — such as data warehousesdata lakehouses, and data platforms — to allow ingesting, easy access, and sharing across distributed data environments. 

To orchestrate the entire composable data-centric AI pipeline, RDAF syncs integrations to data sources and visual dashboards by using libraries of pre-built data bots or leveraging external models — such as IBM Watson or OpenAI — for natural-language processing (NLP)/natural-language understanding (NLU) purposes or conversational queries. RDAF solutions typically provide an Interactive Development Environment (IDE) that uses natural language texts, such as configurational semantics, in order to empower the “augmented consumer.”

Operationalizing AI/ML Data Pipelines With RDAF

RDAF could be the missing link for implementing composable data and analytics by integrating DataOps with the ModelOps, MLOps, and PlatformOps frameworks. It could enable composable data pipelines to derive holistic and complete situational awareness for a 360-degree view to support better decision-making for the augmented consumer.

Some of the use cases for RDAF are situations where composable data pipelines and DataOps are essential for holistic decision-making. This could be for use with data platforms where ITOM, ITSM or ITIM users want to leverage AIOps tools as well as with ELT-based enterprise data warehouses.

To get started with RDAF, organizations need to effectively identify their business goals, KPIs, and how data should be used to reach those goals. Some goals to consider are improving productivity by enhancing time to market and time to insights, reducing risk, improving the security of SLAs, or deepening customer insights.

For use with data platforms to work with RDAF, in particular, the platform must be able to cater to disparate data sources from BI, AI, and cloud-native applications. Platforms should make data access transparent — i.e., whether the data is coming from edge, core, or multi-cloud. Finally, data platforms should also facilitate deriving actionable insights, using multi-protocol access methods with performance and capacity tiers for big, small, and wide data, as small and wide data enables businesses to make holistic decisions across the organization.

That said, in order to effectively use RDAF, ensure data platforms comply with the security aspects mandated by GDPR and CCPA regulations and that they protect and mask personally identifiable information (PII). Likewise, data platforms should be able to support “Explainable AI” to build trust as well as reproduce, reuse, and retrain composable data pipelines.

Try our freemium version of RDAF here.

Shailesh Manjrekar
Shailesh Manjrekar
Shailesh Manjrekar, Chief Marketing Officer is responsible for CloudFabrix's AI and SaaS Product thought leadership, Marketing, and Go To Market strategy for Data Observability and AIOps market. Shailesh Manjrekar is a seasoned IT professional who has over two decades of experience in building and managing emerging global businesses. He brings an established background in providing effective product and solutions marketing, product management, and strategic alliances spanning AI and Deep Learning, FinTech, Lifesciences SaaS solutions. Manjrekar is an avid speaker at AI conferences like NVIDIA GTC and Storage Developer Conference and is also a Forbes Technology Council contributor since 2020, an invitation only organization of leading CxO's and Technology Executives.