Data engineers and developers face challenges every day to help their organizations digitally transform. To do this, they must deliver real-time data applications faster, better and cheaper. With businesses in every industry now data-driven, data professionals must work more efficiently and accelerate time to market for their products. That’s where DataOps comes in.
Development of real-time data applications slows down when strategic business project teams are dependent on small, centralized engineering or IT teams for basic data operations such as exploring data or even building most data processing applications. Needlessly, engineering teams are notorious for being a bottleneck for strategic digital transformation initiatives. Rather, they can become known as strategic project enablers that provide the best tooling to their customers—instead of building it and being known as gatekeepers.
Business users, outside of IT and engineering, need access to data but lack the necessary deep technical knowledge to work with the latest data technologies. DataOps brings people closer to data, helping organizations accelerate the delivery of their strategic projects, reduce costs and minimize the need for hard-to-source engineering skills.
To accelerate digital transformation initiatives, teams and organizations should onboard new users directly onto a data platform quickly with the right tooling and resources required to get to work on their projects. DataOps empowers these business-focused users to work with data tools on their own to self-serve. A DataOps approach makes it easier for more people across an organization to work with its data, resulting in better alignment for data engineers and developers with their business and technical partners and improved data access.
Serious new security, compliance and governance risks are introduced when less-technical users increase their interaction with technology, such as onboarding to a data platform. More people now understand that personal data has tremendous value. Initiatives such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) have brought the need to respect data privacy to the forefront. The stakes for safeguarding data are increasingly high and regulators are unforgiving—costing some organizations several billion dollars in fines, lawsuits and loss of market cap for some data breaches.
When providing access to data, stringent management, control and real-time monitoring must be applied from a governance perspective. A surprise compliance auditor visit can result in questions such as which applications are reading credit card data, how an organization is keeping customer data safe, who has access to data and what are they doing with it. While locking down for compliance, you must help your business stay agile and avoid any slow down in data initiatives.
Build vs. Buy to Streamline Operations
In addition to adopting a DataOps approach, a key step is to onboard users to a data platform. This will optimize your data strategy and will help take the worry out of managing data projects, putting you on a path to faster execution and accelerated time to market.
When onboarding users to a data platform, you need to choose between building your own or buying. It takes time and resources to develop your own system to onboard users and clients and can take years to build your own technology in-house. If your engineers are spending all their time working with open source technology to build tooling for onboarding, they’re not focusing on better ways to use data and get solutions to market fast—which is an inefficient approach.
When your users are onboarded, the cycle begins again, as users request access to more data sets. More time at the command-line console means less time for your engineering teams to focus on higher-value work and strategic initiatives.
Get a Leg Up on Competition With a DataOps Approach
Buying a solution requires an upfront investment to support onboarding and, when combined with DataOps principles, is formidable to remain competitive. Together they enable support and manage the onboarding of clients to a data platform at scale and to maintain security and compliance. A DataOps approach fosters improved communication between data and business professionals to share data more effectively and to build a data mesh architecture.
A Swedish digital bank, Avanza, needed to ensure the continuous improvement of the customer experience of its digital services to remain the leader in the Swedish market. Doing so required giving developers direct and constant access to real-time business data in Apache Kafka.
The organization applied a DataOps approach and intelligent data masking rules to meet GDPR and protect customer confidentiality, featuring a large single data platform to address how it delivered data access and applied data governance to support more than 20 strategic projects. Using the platform, tenants who build streaming applications gained visibility into the health of their Kafka clusters and improved insight into data flows. This self-service approach means fewer support calls to data engineers, minimizing bottlenecks and freeing them up to work on more strategic initiatives.
Data is the fuel that propels insights by tying back to analytics, decision-making and business systems. The better the shared data, the more it can be applied to supporting better business decisions, better customer experiences and execution of strategic business objectives and goals.
DataOps also builds compliance and governance into your processes. It provides the visibility needed to understand who is accessing data and how to maintain governance and ensure people are acting ethically with the data they are enabled to access.
The daily challenges faced in data-driven organizations only continue to grow. A DataOps approach helps data engineers and developers meet these challenges to digitally transform and build real-time data applications that help organizations gain a competitive business edge in their respective marketplaces.