The old data architecture model just isn’t going to be enough for the data-driven business demands of today. A deliberate approach to your business’ data architecture is more important than ever before to provide a road map for your entire enterprise to follow. This roadmap will help you to avoid the pitfalls associated with a lack of cohesion in decision-making and direction.

What is Data Architecture?

Data architecture starts with foundational questions. What system? What data? Why? Data architecture describes how data is processed, stored, and utilized in an information system. It is the roadmap that defines strategic data requirements that guide integration of data assets. Structured data is crucial for reporting and analytics purposes.

Master Data Management is a key aspect to data architecture. Master Data Management is the effort made by an organization to create one single point of reference source for critical business data. This eliminates costly redundancies that occur when businesses reply on multiple sources of information. A Master Data Management Program must include a strong data governance, which focuses on high level policies and procedures, and data stewardship, which is the act of implementing and carrying out those policies determined by the data governance, to ensure high data quality and that all data is being handled properly.

Traditional methods of advanced analytics relied upon building Data Mining models by using statistics and other programming methods to find patterns hidden in the data to explain some phenomenon. In today’s Big Data environments, Machine Learning must be applied to data in real-time to rapidly identify patterns to predict desired patterns, associations and outcomes.

One of the first decisions during the data architecture phase is whether to choose a traditional on premise, cloud-managed solution or both. By having a hybrid architecture, businesses are able to manage both on-premises and cloud files from a single, centralized view for analytical purposes. Strategizing the placement of the varied data and handling it both on premises and in the cloud, enables management of a full range of data.

Data architecture is the data blueprint that will unlock endless business value. This organized arrangement of component elements to optimize function and performance help attain your business goals.

Here are some ways to improve your business’s data architecture:

  • High Business Impact. Using open source and cloud offerings will enable your enterprise to pull and work with that data in a way that is cost-effective, and one that will bring together both the technology and the business sides of your organization for a positive and powerful impact.
  • Flexibility. Your data architecture system should be built to change, not to last. A key component of your system should be that it is not dependent upon any particular technology or solution so that when a new solution becomes available, your data architecture will be able to accommodate it, keeping you up to date. Improving your business’ data architecture needs to embrace flexibility.
  • Security. Your data architecture should be built to recognize the constant threats that emerge daily, both internally and externally. These threats evolve continually and show up in different areas, and the improvement of your data architecture should always take them into account.
  • Self Service. Business users can configure their own queries, obtain the information they need, or conduct their own data discovery within a self-service environment. This removes the need to wait for IT or data management departments to deliver the information by providing front-end interfaces that are easy to use and simply laid out. A new generation of tools and templates are available today that will enable your team to explore datasets on their own, with highly visual views that can be adjusted and manipulated to look for outliers and trends.

The LBMC Data Insights team works with companies who are updating or implementing an Enterprise Data Platform strategy, and we provide project planning and design through development and execution, utilizing the top brands and technologies available in the market. We are proud to have delivered high impact data platform and business intelligence solutions for some of the largest organizations in health care, manufacturing, retail, media, and finance. If you are thinking about improving your business’ data architecture, we are here to partner with you.