Why you need a kickass data architect?

Why you need a kickass data architect?

Data is at the heart of any institution. It holds the key to making knowledgeable and supportable decisions. How this data is organized is called data architecture. Data architecture is a set of models, rules, and policies that define how data is captured, processed, and stored in the database. It also defines how and which users have access to which data and how they can use it. Many organizations that use traditional data architectures today are rethinking their database architecture.

This is because existing data architectures are unable to support the speed, agility, and volume that is required by companies today. Modern Data Architecture (MDA) addresses these business demands, thus enabling organizations to quickly find and unify their data across various storage technologies. Reducing time and increasing flexibility and agility is the main objective of MDA.

Continue reading to find out why you need a kickass data architect?

Few companies have dedicated data architects, but every company need one. How can you better organize your data with limited resources? A data architect defines “how the data will be stored, consumed, integrated and managed by different data entities and IT systems, as well as any applications using or processing that data.”

Developing a corporate-wide data blueprint that catalogues where various troves of data are stored, how they interact with systems and applications, how often they are refreshed, what the governance requirements for them are, and is not a small task.

It is rendered all the more difficult by the ways companies have accumulated their data — by buying disparate systems from many different vendors, each with their own data stores, and by neglecting the need to integrate all of these data silos across the enterprise for many years.

Past practice has focused on immediate project goals and on what data is needed to be integrated to support a new application. No one ever thought much about how to get all the enterprise’s data to work with each other.

However, with the need to leverage more information across departments, companies want to break down their data silos. But, whether all companies should have a data architect is left to be said.

Data architect vs. CDO (chief data officer).

From a practical standpoint, most companies can’t afford a data architect. What companies have done instead is to hire a CDO (chief data officer). The CDO’s role is to ensure the enterprise is getting the most business value out of its data. CDOs focus on data governance and compliance and work to ensure everyone within the enterprise has access to the data they need. However, CDOs don’t do the actual technical data integration architecting.

To actually break down data silos and move data across all systems, while ensuring everyone gets the data they need and guaranteeing sound data storage and management practices, a data architect with advanced database and data handling skills is needed. The organizations that hire data architects tend to be large enterprises that have reached a point where mission-critical systems must be brought together to leverage data, and/or they have reached a level of pain to where they can no longer tolerate systems and data that run independently of each other.

Addressing data architecture if you can’t afford a data architect

Most organizations experience the pain that this large enterprise did, but they lack the resources to hire a full-time data architect. What can they do?

Inventory data and systems

A junior staff member can take on the job of inventorying all the data across the company, such as which systems contain the data, where the data is located, who uses the data, and more. The information can be placed into an asset management system for purposes of tracking the data.

Use zero-trust networks

A zero-trust network monitors users across the enterprise, admitting only users who are authorized to access certain systems or data. The network also notifies IT if any new device, system or data store is added to the network. The zero-trust network is a good way to make sure you have all data and systems that are in use in the company, so you can track them. This system can be managed by your network group, with updates to your asset management system as needed.

Prioritize data architecture moves based on mission-critical and pain point needs

If your resources are limited, you can still work on an overall data architecture by taking smaller steps. These steps can be taken when you install a new system or when you prioritize data integrations and silo take-downs based upon mission-critical and pain point needs.

It might take longer to arrive at an end-to-end data architecture, but you’ve started the journey.

Conclusion

Data architecture is important for many reasons, including that it: Helps you gain a better understanding of the data. Provides guidelines for managing data from initial capture in source systems to information consumption by business people. Provides a structure upon which to develop and implement data governance.

Every organization should design, create, and maintain an enterprise data architecture to ensure data-driven capabilities.  Along with the data architecture, each organization should develop and implement an enterprise data strategy that includes all the components of enterprise data management.  Doing so will ensure the organization’s ability to collect, store, manage, and use data as an enterprise asset.

Why you need a kickass data architect? Why you need a kickass data architect? Why you need a kickass data architect? Why you need a kickass data architect? Why you need a kickass data architect? Why you need a kickass data architect?

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