Checklist For Building a Modern Data Estate

An important guide for any organization that wants to build a modern data estate but does not want to spend too much time or money doing so

Maturing towards a modern data estate in 8 steps

Data, data, data. Data everywhere. Data from enterprise systems. External data. Customer data. People data. Data from social media channels. Raw data. Unstructured data. Semi-structured data. Is your organization able to unlock value from all these data sources? Can everyone in your organization access the real-time data they need to make data-driven decisions at the right time? How mature and futureproof is your data strategy?

A brief history

With big data becoming mainstream, the World Economic Forum mentions in ‘A brief history of big data everyone should read’ that “long before computers (as we know them today) were commonplace, the idea that we were creating an ever-expanding body of knowledge ripe for analysis was popular in academia” and that “Big Data is not a new or isolated phenomenon, but one that is part of a long evolution of capturing and using data. Like other key developments in data storage, data processing, and the Internet, Big Data is just a further step that will bring change to the way we run business and society.

At the same time, it will lay the foundations on which many evolutions will be built.” This tells us that the abilities of an organization towards capturing data, data storage, data analysis and searching, sharing, transferring, visualizing, querying, and updating of data, as well as compliance and data privacy, are no longer a want-to-have.

These capabilities have become a foundation for success, today and in the future.

Moving Away From a Data Warehouse to a Data Estate

“When setting up a data estate, think of it as building a house. If the foundations are shaky, or if you get to the first floor and realize you forgot to install any pipes, then you’re in trouble. Solid foundations are absolutely vital to a data management platform, so make sure you establish a firm basis of support within the organization. This may mean that the implementation takes a little longer, but it will ensure you are truly prepared for the future by the end of the journey.”

Most companies have already invested in their data environment by deploying a traditional data warehouse (DW). A data warehouse is a central repository of integrated data from disparate data sources used for reporting and data analysis. The traditional data warehouse however has limitations in functionality. Most data warehouses are typically updated as an end-of-day batch job, rather than being filled by real-time transactional data. And in a structured data warehouse environment work must be done within the framework of the created structure: static data sets with minimal ability to drill down.

Therefore more and more organizations are investigating the possibilities of developing a modern data estate. Or, as Forbes states in the article ‘ Why The Modern-Day Corporation Should Consider A Data Estate’: “Businesses are scrambling to build a data infrastructure suitable for supporting their desire to mine the riches inherent in their data.

And they’re doing so with data estates.” The same article offers us a great definition of data estate: “A data estate is simply the infrastructure to help companies systematically manage all of their corporate data. A data estate can be developed on-premises, in the cloud, or a combination of both (hybrid). From here, organizations can store, manage and leverage their analytics data, business applications, social data, customer relationship systems, functional business, and departmental data, internet of things (IoT), and more.”

Do you have a traditional data warehouse (DW) and have been wondering how to strategically expand its functionality and upgrade its performance? In this paper, we discuss 8 steps to take when expanding and upgrading your data warehouse into a modern data estate.