How data estate modernization can reshape enterprise data management and accelerate business growth

How data estate modernization can reshape enterprise data management and accelerate business growth

There’s a lot of data in the modern world. Brands and consumers across all industries engage with various channels and platforms. The rise in activity is exciting, but it also presents a challenge: How can leaders leverage all their data in real-time, and use it to both inform and transform their business?

That is precisely what a data-driven digital transformation produces with the correct planning, platform integration, and a solid data strategy.

Data holds the key to growth, from indicating how and where to move to produce excellent, relevant consumer experiences to knowing how to improve internal operations or change products.

As you can see, a reliable data strategy model is essential for businesses to accelerate growth and capitalize on new opportunities.

What is a data strategy?

A data strategy is a dynamic plan that includes tools, processes, and people to support the acquisition, organization, analysis, and delivery of data to meet business objectives.

Key components of a data strategy

The core components to consider in the roadmap of a modern data strategy are:

Data strategy key components

  • Data Catalogs: Data catalogs store metadata from all source systems. It helps business and IT teams to see the available data and effectively map them with the proper business operations. 
  • Data Architectures: These describe the data flow from source to target, including transformations & security. Modern data solutions often leverage architectures such as data lakes, enterprise data warehouses, lakehouses, etc.   
  • Data Management Solutions: Modern data management solutions strengthen an organization’s data strategy. Some modern data management approaches are Data Fabric, Data Mesh, etc.  
  • Review & Governance: Periodic audit, review, and improvement processes are needed to ensure the data strategy is up-to-date and compliant with the organization’s goal.  

Why do businesses need a data strategy?

Chief Data Officers (CDOs), data and analytics (D&A) leaders, and key business stakeholders need a modern data strategy to maximize the value of their digital transformation initiatives and meet the complexities of an enterprise operating model.

 Without a data strategy…

  • Each part of the business maintains its own view of data, resulting in duplication
  • There is a tendency to follow technology trends without rationalizing their influence on the business
  • Data is the by-product of the transactions that the business generates daily, rather than a powerful resource to generate insights
  • There is a focus more on static data security instead of data flexibility/accessibility
  • IT is considered a cost center and are under constant pressure to keep costs down

What are the core benefits of a data strategy?

  • The organization’s sole focus is to leverage its data, ensuring consistency in data accessibility
  • Technology is considered an enabler, not the sole driver of business strategy/outcomes
  • Data is the most valuable asset and is utilized to its full potential
  • Allows the organization to maintain a thoughtful balance between data security and flexibility/accessibility
  • IT is viewed as a partner to the business as both are aligned in achieving business strategies

Roles and responsibilities of a data strategy team

A modern data strategy team must include the following members to ensure a 360-degree view during planning and implementation:

  • Business Stakeholders
  • Data Engineers
  • Data Scientists
  • Data Analysts
  • Data Stewards

Neal Analytics’ Data Estate Modernization Framework

We help our customers craft a solid data strategy leveraging Neal’s Data Estate Modernization Framework. This framework maximizes the potential of the data to deliver the growth and business outcomes necessary to stay ahead in the market.

Our approach to data estate modernization includes 5 stages

  1. Assess (Data & Analytics Roadmap)
  2. Implement (Business Scenarios & Platform Deployment)
  3. Migrate (Elevate Services)
  4. Insights (Business Intelligence & Visualizations)
  5. Innovate (Data Science & AI)

Data estate modernization framework by Neal

Accelerating your data-driven transformation at any stage (Customer examples)

Enterprise data estate modernization

A large, vertically integrated energy retailer was challenged by legacy data platforms and uncertainty from disparate data systems. They engaged Neal Analytics to develop a data strategy and delivered a modernization roadmap to support desired capabilities and differentiation strategies.

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Leveraging Microsoft Purview for end-to-end data lineage

The world’s leading producer of hot tubs leveraged Microsoft Purview to create a detailed and proper map of their data and performed the classification of an end-to-end lineage of their data.​

Data lineage helped Watkins understand the lifecycle that spans the data’s origin and where it moves across the data estate over time. It is used for different backward-looking scenarios, such as troubleshooting, tracing root causes in data pipelines, and debugging. ​Additionally, lineage can perform data quality analysis, compliance, and “what if” scenarios, often called impact analysis. ​

Migration to the cloud and deploys advanced analytics use cases

We helped Majid-Al-Futtaim’s business to identify and prioritize scenarios for data and analytics value. We built a roadmap for piloting various use cases and taking winners to production via organizational change management and infrastructure deployment.

Neal Analytics held a week-long workshop in Dubai with MAF’s leadership, then worked with the IT leadership to assess the data estate and built out four priority use cases for limited production deployment and evaluation.

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Get the most out of your data strategy

Companies must embrace new data strategies to preserve and exploit their data as technology advances. A sound data strategy can pave the way to successful and practical data usage to achieve your business goals.

Neal Analytics is an infrastructure, data & AI, and digital & app innovation Microsoft Solutions Partner that accelerates data-driven transformation initiatives for enterprises committed to the Microsoft cloud. We assist companies in creating end-to-end data strategy solutions that encourage innovation and the generation of value in line with current and anticipated market trends and long-term corporate objectives. Contact us to learn more!