What is the core function of Fl@World?
Disparate data from multiple sources within and outside the organisations is simply uploaded to and ‘flattened’ by Fl@World so that it can be read by any application or platform, without changing its original format. Your ‘flattened’ data is now vendor neutral and platform agnostic so that you no longer have to worry about the cost and complexity of compatibility issues, ready to share, integrate and collaborate inside and outside the organisation once data access permissions are assigned. This enables organisations to create real-time data ecosystems across technologies and organisations, to provide a real-time unified view of the customer or company.
What is a data ecosystem and why is it important?
Similar to a biological ecosystem, a data ecosystem is a living, evolving collection of:
systems and applications used to capture and analyze data within your organisation and the organisations or individual entities of your “customers” i.e. current, prospective and lapsed customers, employees and stakeholders such as shareholders, suppliers, agencies;
the data contained within these systems and applications;
data history, builds and relationships between the data, systems and applications
Organisations know that to capitalize on the data economy and grow their business, they need data to make decisions that enable delivering a unified customer experience and employee experience, innovation, supply chain integration and new business models. The data captured within the organisation alone is not enough because much of the customer ecosystem and journey exists outside the organisation. In order to understand past behaviour, respond to, predict and ethically influence future behaviour, you need to understand relationships between the data. This requires collecting, analysing and applying:
data and relationships between data
over time and in real-time
at the individual level and the group level
across the customer journey and throughout their current and prospective customer ecosystems
from sources both within and outside the organisation.
It needs a data ecosystem technology that provides you with a real-time unified view of the customer or company.
How is a data ecosystem different to a data lake?
A data ecosystem shows the relationships between data, systems and applications, data history and the data journey. This means you have a more complete picture of the data for analysis, and chain of evidence for global compliance. Whereas a data lake is merely a repository for all your data.
How does Fl@World create data ecosystems with entities outside of the organisation?
Fl@World enables dynamic collaboration with entities outside of the organisation through Data Connection Points. You can think of Connection Points as ‘hubs’ where flattened data is combined and viewed with other flattened data (from your own sources or sources outside your ‘firewalls’) that you’ve agreed to work with. To combine flattened data, you simply create a Data Connection Point. This creates a unique address. (Think of it like creating an ultra-secure, empty house on a street - only you know its there, what the address is and you have the only key). Then you select what flattened data you want to add to this new Data Connection Point. Simply add the participants that you would like to give access to the Data Connection Point. Fl@World creates a unique address and key for each participant. Permitted participants, using their own key to your Data Connection Point, can view the Data that is there and, if you’ve given them permission to, can also add their own Data to it.
Who is the owner of the data?
Fl@World always tracks data ownership. In Fl@World terminology if you load the data Fl@World deems you to be the data-owner. The data-owner controls precisely how their data is utilized.
Does Fl@World change my data into a proprietary format that makes it difficult to use or retrieve if I stop using Fl@World?
Fl@World creates its own metadata layer using your data. It securely stores your original data ‘as is’, along with your Fl@World Data version of it, in your own individual Fl@World data vault. You can always retrieve, update and delete your data at any time.
Where does Fl@World store my data?
All of your data - your original Data, Fl@World Data and any Data Connection Points you created along with any Data Connection Points that you have been granted access to - is stored in your individual data vault. Your data vault may be replicated onto other storage devices only for fault tolerance reasons (e.g. if a server farm and/or storage devices went offline) but it is never backed up onto offline storage.
Your data vault and each item inside your data vault is individually encrypted – it is only by you giving explicit permission that Fl@World can enable other participants to utilise your data. Simply put, there is no ‘back door’ method of reading your data.
How does Fl@World meet global data compliance requirements?
Fl@World’s global data compliance functionality includes:
· Per individual, per data item encryption in-flight and at-rest
· Data owners can control all aspects of how they share their data including the ability to remove access to and remove data from the platform at any time, in real-time
· No unauthorised access to data
· Full transparency of all data use.
· Enterprise level data access controls and logging making security/compliance audits simple
· Every data change is versioned. That, combined with Fl@world logs, provides a step-by-step chain of evidence
· All logs and data stored on Fl@world have corresponding checksum receipts preventing data to be added, changed or removed from Fl@world in an unauthorised manner
How is Fl@World different from other data platforms on the market?
Fl@World is unique because it easily shares and integrates structured and unstructured data, within and between technologies and organisations, with a high level of compliant, secure data integration, to provide a real-time unified view.
Data sharing and storage platforms such as email and DropBox are good for sharing, but not for integrating unstructured data or sharing between organisations; meaning shared data is uncontrolled with a low level of compliance.
Collaboration platforms such as Google Docs and Blockchain are good for distributed information but they are vendor locked and generally not internally approved for privacy or compliance. They are difficult for data integration and sharing unstructured data, within or between organisations.
Integration platforms – both traditional and new methods – have higher levels of compliant, secure data integration but they is a high cost involved for sharing and integration of unstructured data, between technologies and organisations; so they obtain a delayed semi-unified view.
How is Fl@World different to Blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies?
Fl@World manages and controls data security and relationships at an individual transaction level, processing high volume of transactions without the high energy costs:
Fl@World provides transaction data only to parties who are explicitly in a transaction within the ecosystem vs Blockchain requires all transactions be shared with everyone who participates in the ecosystem
Fl@World estores and protects data associated with a transaction vs Blockchain does not store or protect associated data
Fl@World scales to thousands of transactions per second, uses low energy and costs less per transaction vs Blockchain is a low volume transaction ecosystem with high transaction costs and electricity use
How quickly can I see benefit from the platform?
Fl@World is an out-of-the-box solution, able to be implemented and start using on the same day.
Fl@World solves the data formatting challenge out-of-the-box as it automatically converts raw data into flattened data, which makes the data universally understandable and infinitely reusable. Fl@World also has extremely strong provenance controls that enable only the ‘correct’ data to be made available for use – be that by a Data Scientist or a Machine Learning algorithm.
It removes the cost, time and complexity of getting data into a useable format so you can start utilising/analysing the data within hours and see corresponding benefits in relation to strategic decisions, innovation metrics, customer/market insights and general trends through amalgamated research.
The fastest way for you to see the benefits of using Fl@World is to create a Proof of Concept by choosing a discreet and measurable project that requires integrating structured and unstructured data from within and outside the organisation, with permissions for PII security and compliance, to achieve a real-time unified view of the customer or company. For example:
Customer experience: a customer-facing project that focuses on an integrated, omni-channel, real-time (i.e. a dialog) offering
Data science/analysis: a project to “clean up” data in a discreet area – collecting and applying data permissions to identify data gaps
What capability and capacity do I need within my organisation to use it?
We designed Fl@World to be low cost to implement, maintain and easy to use by individuals across the organisation, thus providing the ideal platform for a data centric culture.
The technology is easy to implement without the need for high end specialist IT consultant capability. IT needs to be able to write REST commands.
The Fl@World platform is designed to be low-maintenance and should fit in easily with your existing operations workflows. To utilise Fl@World your usual project teams can manage the relatively simple effort of working out what data is to be uploaded to and shared within your Fl@World Connection Points and what data views are required.
With its user-friendly interface, Fl@World empowers people across the organisation with data at their fingertips.
How and why did you build it to scale?
Fl@World is built to scale quickly and cost effectively.
Businesses are faced with the relentless challenge of ensuring the organisation infrastructure, systems and processes can change and grow with the business – digital transformation across the business; increasing numbers of customers, employees and stakeholders; an exponential increase in structured and unstructured data and data sources; new products and services, distribution, markets and business models; mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures – and scale quickly as required, without costs escalating out of control.
How is Fl@World designed for the ‘trust economy’?
Fl@World acts as a trust broker:
It protects and encrypts your data uniquely.
It enables data owners to decide who they will share data with, what data they will share, and how long they want to share it for.
It makes sure that data is only shared with the selected participants and also makes sure that the participants are who they say they are.
It logs all activity around your data so that you know exactly how your data was used, when it was used and who it was used by.
It can also do this for your customers, clients, partners, suppler, in fact anyone you do business with.
This capability opens the way for a) trusted data collaboration, b) new business models, c) better service with up-to-date data and d) potentially deeper business relationships as your clients and customers can see how their data is being used.
What authentication support does Fl@World offer?
Fl@World supports single sign (SSO) logins through SAML 2.0
A SAML 2.0 identity provider (IDP) can take many forms, one of which is a self-hosted Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) server. ADFS is a service provided by Microsoft as a standard role for Windows Server that provides a web login using existing Active Directory credentials.
Is it meant for SMEs or Enterprise sized organisations?
From the outset, Fl@World was to designed to democratize data, leveling or ‘flattening’ the business playing field. It does this by empowering Tier None organisations, regardless of size and locale, with collaborative technological abilities equal to those that would have, until this point, been reserved for Tier One organisations who had no restrictions on their cost and capability reserves.
Whatever your size, if you need to bring your data together from more than a couple of data sources and/or you spend a lot of time and/or money trying to merge spreadsheets or connect API’s together then Fl@World is the solution for you.
If you want to leverage this unified data to create personalized data that your customers and partners can securely see and update, then Fl@World is the easiest, most scalable and secure way of doing this, cost effectively.