Data Estate Modernization: The key to success
Data Architecture / November, 14 2023

Data Estate Modernization: The key to success

Do you think that for businesses to flourish, merely collecting and storing vast quantities of data and then mining that to solve specific issues is enough? For becoming genuinely intelligent organizations, it is crucial to deploy data across the board and comprehensively, for which fresh strategies are imperative. Not just be data-driven; it is time to be empowered by data, to be able to leverage technology and stand out in the competition truly. In this blog, we will find out what is a data estate and why it is essential to modernize it.

The data context: specific or beyond?

Let me first take you through these three noteworthy statistics:

  1. 70% of the upcoming decade’s GDP growth will stem from Artificial Intelligence (AI).
  2. AI will contribute over $15 trillion to the global economy in the same period.
  3. 62% of business leaders are proactively strategizing to capitalize on this technology revolution and positioning themselves for the future.

We can understand from these stats how urgent and imperative it is for businesses to adapt and embrace data-driven approaches and technologies (such as AI) to thrive in the competitive world.

To become a genuinely data-empowered enterprise, businesses should look at data beyond the problem-solving perspective as it constrains our visibility perspectives. In fact, having that approach does not let us make data-based predictions that extend beyond the specific context in which the data was collected or produced.  

What does modern data management look like?

This doesn’t dismiss the relevance of data management tools such as business intelligence platforms, Power BI, etc. Instead, the emphasis should be on constructing foundational structures and pipelines to enable organizations to be application-flexible. Regardless of how current and advanced your tech stack is, there will always be newer and more potent tools around the corner. As a result, adopting both data lake and data warehouse approaches is necessary. On top of that, incorporating a semantic layer becomes imperative, involving the preparation, labeling, and priming of data for seamless usage by the front end of the stack.

Data lake and modern data warehouse

We also know the value and relevance of historical data. To assume control of our historical data in its raw state efficiently, the most effective approach is to house it in a data lake. However, in this raw form, only a small fraction of an enterprise’s workforce can access and derive proper value from the data. For that, a subsequent layer should be added to what we refer to as the modern data warehouse. Finally, there is the semantic layer, where you can define a schema to enable data accessibility to whichever tools and dashboards it will ultimately integrate into. These three components together constitute the modern data estate.

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All about data estate

Even though many businesses are progressively adopting cloud-based data storage for the obvious benefits of enhanced flexibility and reduced costs, there remains a looming risk of the data estate becoming obsolete without proper modernization. Data modernization involves securing and revitalizing all your legacy data by leveraging modern cloud technologies, as mentioned above. Let us understand and explore the strategies to implement to ensure the data estate is agile and flexible.

Data estate

A ‘data estate’ refers to the complete aggregation of an organization’s entire data and information assets under its ownership and control. It includes the data stored in databases, data warehouses, and data lakes to the information stored on-site or in the cloud. The hardware and software infrastructure, from servers and storage devices to analytics tools harnessed to manage and process data- all are collectively called ‘data estate.’ A data estate can have a diverse range of data types, including unstructured, structured, and semi-structured data such as data spreadsheets and databases. Additionally, the data estate can have the information stored in one way or hybrid manner. The data can be in the cloud, or on-premises, or even both (hybrid)!

What else is there in a data estate?

A data estate also includes security and governance measures such as data access controls, encryption, and backups. Aiming to ensure that the data is current and accurate and also prevent unauthorized access to mitigate data breaches, these measures are in place.

Data estate management is the management of the entire data ecosystem, encompassing data collection, storage, processing, analysis, and distribution. This also includes functions such as managing the data quality and integrity and executing data governance policies and procedures. Components such as data catalogs, dictionaries, and lineage contribute to this. You also need to have a comprehensive understanding of the data for assuring the accessibility, accuracy and security of the data, since the data volumes keep expanding.

Thus, a holistic view of the complete data assets of an organization, including the infrastructure, governance, security, data quality, integrity, and data management practices, is collectively referred to as the data estate.

Modernization of a data estate

The act of transferring and enhancing an organization’s data estate to a new platform or environment is referred to as data estate migration and modernization. The procedure may involve the migration of data from on-premises systems to the cloud, including platforms like Microsoft Azure, or the migration of data between different cloud platforms. The process also involves enhancing and modernizing data management, security processes, tools, and infrastructure. The reasons for modernizing a data estate are plenty. Let us look at some of the extensive benefits of data estate transformation.

Streamlined processes 

Modern cloud-based data estates not only accelerate the data availability for its business users but also diminish an enterprise’s technical debt. An improved data system enables IT teams to dedicate more attention to strategic initiatives and reduces the time spent on routine maintenance and data processing tasks.

Improved access to insights

With data estate modernization, the cloud-based environments facilitate the enterprise to receive relevant insights for the various teams and departments swiftly. Modernized data estates seamlessly integrate with artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other advanced data analytics tools.

Competitive advantage

Having access to the latest data available, enterprises can embrace agility as they can analyze trends and quickly adapt to market changes. This gives a competitive advantage over rivals slow in modernizing their data infrastructure. 

Return on Investment (ROI)

While modernizing data estates involves costs, the advantages of faster and smarter decision-making and more effective decisions result in a substantial return on investment.

Enhanced innovation and agility

Innovation and agility go beyond customer-facing initiatives. With the legacy and present data readily available due to data estate modernization, enterprises can leverage and mine that data to enhance their internal processes, making themselves streamlined, efficient, and agile.

Improved compliance and security

The migration and upgrade to a modern data environment can gain advantages by incorporating enhanced security measures and ensuring compliance with emerging data and privacy protection regulations.

Efficient rollouts and scalability

The cloud is renowned for its flexibility. With the modern cloud, initiating a smaller analytics project in one department is simple, and upon demonstrating success, the enterprise can swiftly deploy the solution to other areas. In summary, the migration and modernization of a data estate bring numerous business advantages, including streamlined processes, enhanced security and compliance, cost savings, alignment with market trends and more. Likewise, data estate modernization is the cutting-edge approach to data management that truly empowers businesses to leverage all their data, either structured or unstructured, making it accessible to all users, regardless of location or time.

Data modernization – a Critical factor for success 

Enterprises increasingly realize the importance of revitalizing their data environment in response to the evolving data landscape. By enhancing security and compliance, embracing superior technologies, and increasing flexibility and scalability, businesses can recognize the necessity to migrate and modernize their data estate. Not only that, but data estate modernization is also critical for achieving business success as the transformation enables enterprises to accomplish their business goals. We all know that it is only possible to thrive by leveraging data in the modern business landscape.

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