It’s no secret that data is a driver of innovation and can contribute to meaningful outcomes for businesses. However, the success of businesses with large information pipelines hinges on data being readily available to gain efficient and reliable access to business intelligence. Data mesh architecture is the next big, transformational shift in advancing a company’s data posture and processes to streamline and speed-up insight generation.
What is data mesh architecture?
Data mesh takes centralised, siloed data and makes it suitable for business-focused insights and automated analytics. It’s a practical solution that enables business users to organise, exchange and rapidly access information so that costly and time-consuming bottlenecks imposed by traditional data warehousing can be eliminated. This paradigm shift manages data as a product and accelerates business outcomes as a data mesh approach scales to fit evolving technologies and existing operational functions.
From his own experience, principal consultant at Optivia, Richard Fraccaro, believes that a well-built data mesh architecture can advance a company’s ability to be successful and self-sufficient through greater accessibility, interoperability and overall integrity of data within the organisation.
“Data mesh architecture can federate business information across an enterprise while leveraging existing infrastructure. And it doesn’t always have to be a start-from-scratch mission. Rather, the focus is on designing data products with business teams for specific business use cases while ensuring that the principles of data governance and security are routinely reinforced,” says Richard.
The problem with centralised data systems
Does limited visibility and slow accessibility to your company data sound familiar? Then that’s probably because you’re operating in a centralised data environment. Centralised data systems require lengthy timelines to establish and design which leads to slow, costly and poorly distributed data.
“This can become a bottleneck for maintaining and expanding your data framework as new data sources and new business use cases come into the mix. Then what we often see with centralised networks is that it requires additional, time-consuming effort from teams to gain actionable insights from the data and apply them to a business problem or use case. This creates a crawl to insights,” says Richard.
The benefits of data mesh architecture
1. Federates data by clearing bottlenecks
Traditionally, organisations have used centralised data lakes or warehouses while still trying to service multiple business use cases. These data lakes are generally maintained by smaller teams which overburdens resources and disconnects teams and workflows. This hinders an organisation’s ability to democratise data, therefore making it difficult to ingest, integrate and analyse it. Data mesh allows you to clear bottlenecks by eliminating obstructions to data visibility and accessibility that are caused by centralisation and instead, facilitate collaboration.
“Data is often useful for more than one team or department and so data mesh can give you interoperable capabilities, helping to federate data across an organisation. Consumable data products designed and owned by business users enables easier, rapid integration across distributed data and even between disconnected systems. Federating data also leads to more efficient outcomes so you can sprint towards insights rather than crawl,” says Richard.
2. Enhances insight extraction by being domain-driven
Data mesh architecture is domain-driven by design, meaning that the people who actually know, own, and use the data are the ones helping to build out a useful data product. This can improve the end-to-end responsibility, reliability and integrity of data through decentralised ownership. Not only are data capabilities enhanced for business use and insight extraction, but the tools used by domain owners in the data mesh platform result in the efficient automation of many business rules that reinforce an organisation’s governance of data.
“Rather than storing the data in a way that you normally would from a technical perspective, you instead focus on coordinating the data from the perspective of the people who are going to use it. That way it can cohesively align with how the business units want to use the data because the motive is to make it available and insightful for business users,” says Richard.
3. Provides a self-serve data framework
Well-implemented data mesh architecture provides more agile access to data products and supports an iterative framework to federate and govern data. This makes it feasible to maintain data integrity throughout its entire lifecycle, regardless of the upstream data source. With a self-serve data mesh platform, users can focus on their individual use cases without technical complexity, while providing a universal – and often automated approach – to standardising data processes. Through this streamlined data catalogue, data owners still manage and control access which allows them to autonomously serve, own and drive data processes.
“Data mesh equips business users with the infrastructure and tools to be actively involved in the continual, iterative improvement of the data product. This empowers teams to proactively respond to evolving business demands – even in a changeable market landscape – through well-distributed data.
“An environment such as the Zetaris Networked Data Platform makes building and maintaining data mesh so easy for any organisation, regardless of the complexity of their data landscape,” says Richard.
Establishing and growing data mesh capabilities allows company-wide collaboration for both business and technical users and solves business use cases through a self-sufficient and domain-driven data framework. Organisations implementing well-built data mesh architecture are already experiencing the benefits of increased business agility, better accessibility to critical information, and improved integrity of their data infrastructure.
Want to know more about how your organisation can improve reliability, agility and efficient access to meaningful business data with data mesh and virtualisation? Watch our on-demand webinar here.
At Optivia our consultants have decades of experience in deploying data modernisation and analytics solutions to solve critical business problems. We are experts at combining industry knowledge with technology, so contact us today to discover how we can deliver seamless transformations for you.