Creating Value with an Enterprise Data Bazaar

Lead researcher: Katy Ring, Research Director – IT Services

At 451 Research, we believe ‘the enterprise data bazaar’ can help organizations that aim to become more agile by using data to inform the direction and development of their businesses. The phrase ‘enterprise data bazaar’ is a term used to define an environment where many people can access and leverage that information to build data-driven products.

To achieve this, businesses need unified data management layers, so that data scientists and subject matter experts can decide how to deal with the stored data. These layers enable the use of datasets – or a data lake – to provide value without siloing information within the organization. However, many organizations have ended up with what could be described as a ‘data swamp’ – a single environment housing large volumes of raw data that cannot be easily accessed for any purpose, let alone multiple uses. Creating a data bazaar with these management layers would break apart the swamp by putting security at the foundation of this approach by building out the data governance and self-service data preparation functionalities.

When speaking to our clients that have data lakes, many are struck with the realization that they did not fully comprehend the risks associated with what they have built. Companies struggle to audit their lakes as part of compliance measures since each source system has difference governance and security policies. This struggle is caused by the self-service nature of a data lake, where data can be access for nearly any purpose, making it unclear is a company has protected PII data as part of regulations like GDPR.  

When companies are in this scenario, vendors and service providers are opening an internal role for a chief data officer (CDO) that can help get the business back on track. Together, this group can work out a remedy for the situation. One solution is to build a “sandbox” environment that includes company-wide policy, controls and metadata management with a ‘citizen’ data integrator tool which allows the user to give back or develop analytics on how they are using the data. With this type of tool, users can still access data in a self-service way and allow that access to be overseen by the IT group or CDO before it moves to production as a data product.

In addition to this self-service ‘sandbox’ data preparation layer, IT service providers can help companies with data governance and the data supply chain. Such providers assist in sourcing, managing and enriching the data, and sell managed services for policing data consumption. For example, in an audit, organizations need to know the data they hold, who uses it and what for. This regulation provides a strong opportunity for developing the enterprise data bazaar.

Furthermore, the self-service analytics and governance layers need to be architected the right way to enable a range of use cases over time, and this is often not what results from the development of a single-use-case project. Therefore a CDO role is so very important: this individual is the internal champion with authority to get agreement on a company-wide strategy for the capture, management and sharing of data.

Katy Ring, research director of IT services at 451 Research, examines the benefits of enterprise data bazaar, the technologies, service providers and strategies used to enable them in her Technology and Business Impact report on the Enterprise Data Bazaar. Learn more about this report.
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