Data Architecture – The poor younger brother now the rising star

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Data Architecture - The poor younger brother now the rising star

As the youngest in the family I feel like it’s a common trait to feel like you are the one who got the rough end of the stick. Like myself I feel that over the years data architecture has been the poor younger brother of infrastructure and application architecture (business architecture is another story entirely).

Over the past 12-24 months it seems that the clock has turned and landed on Data. Certain buzzwords that crop up here are Data Monetisation, Artificial Intelligence, Predictive Analytics.

I think this increase in appreciation for data has been two-fold. (I’m sure there are many more reasons but these are the two I feel have been most critical)

  1. Decision makers who hold the budget have never really taken data seriously because it seemed too complex, too geeky and frankly they did not seem to realise the importance of it and how it can transform their business. Those people are now coming to the realisation that with all the new technology and processes they have implemented they are limited with what they can do based on their data. How can you utilise predictive analytics for example with very shonky data. When you turn that new global HR system on you have spent 2 years bringing from inception to go live, how will people feel if the core data is wrong?
  2. CxO have come to the realisation that instead of being a cost centre, data is actually a revenue stream or a way of preventing costs through predictive analytics. Companies now see that data can be a revenue generator and true business differentiator. Everyone has seen the “dark side of data” such as the Cambridge Analyitca scandal but it has opened the eyes of the world to the power of good information.

I think your major organisations like Google and Apple have always had a good appreciation for the power of data and what good data architecture can do but it is only now that many others are catching up.

It was also something that was highlighted at the Gartner CIO Symposium in Barcelona last year with the message ringing through loud and clear that if you haven’t built a data architecture team already, do it now. 

I would be keen to know your thoughts on this, do you think data is on the comeback or did it ever fall out of favour?

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