What's in this podcast?

In this episode, Jason Foster talks to Rob White, a consultant in enterprise architecture, about its critical role in data strategy.

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For more on data, take a look at the webinars and events that we have lined up for you.


One Big Message

Data architecture is the process of designing and organising data to best meet the needs of an organisation. This includes defining how data will be structured and accessed, as well as creating a plan to manage it. When done right, data architecture can improve performance, reduce costs, and make it easier for users to find the information they need.

[00:32] How Rob transitioned from his military career into enterprise architecture, and which skill sets translated over

[06:20] Looking at the different types of data architecture

[11:47] The philosophy behind data architecture

[14:00] Certain skills and qualities that are beneficial for someone who wants to be a data architect

[21:30] The responsibilities of a data architect, and what they’re accountable for

[29:02] Striking the balance between keeping flexibility and coming up with a structured roadmap when testing

[34:30] A new perspective on the role of a data architect and how it has evolved since the 1980s



What is data architecture

Data architecture is important for two reasons: first, because bad design can lead to wasted time and money; and second, because good design can help your team make better decisions and avoid problems down the road.

As technology progresses, the way that businesses store and access data must also progress. Data architecture is a term used to describe the design of a database and the way in which it’s accessed by users or applications. Many companies don’t give data architecture the attention it deserves. But, in order to have a successful business, you need to have a good data architecture in place. By understanding data architecture, businesses can optimise their databases for performance and security.


Pre-project and project architecture

Pre-project and project data architecture refers to the design of how data will be structured before, during, and after a project is executed. This includes decisions about what data will be captured, how it will be organised, where it will be stored, who will have access to it, and when it can be deleted. 

In order to be successful with data-guided decision making, you need a plan for your data. This includes 

  • the architecture of your data before any projects start, 
  • tools and frameworks that will be used during the project, 
  • and how the data will be accessed and used. 

This planning is necessary to make sure all stakeholders are working towards the same goal, that the data is reliable and accessible, and that decisions are made with all of the information available. Without this pre-project data architecture plan, projects can easily become derailed or produce inaccurate results. By taking some time upfront to establish a plan for your data, you can avoid these pitfalls and ensure successful decision making through your organisation.


Provide models and knowledge so others can improve performance

In order for an organisation to succeed, it is important that certain decision makers within the company understand the company’s data architecture and how it works. By having proper data architecture process models in place, employees can better understand their role in the company and how they can help improve performance. 

Data architectures can vary greatly in their complexity and size, so it’s important to first assess your needs and then choose an approach that meets those needs. There are three main factors to consider when creating a data architecture: storage, access, and protection.


Putting forward what’s relevant

In order to fulfil their role as data architect, it is important for information architects to understand what their stakeholders need and want. They should also be able to communicate effectively with these stakeholders in order to get the best results for the organisation. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone needs to know everything; but key stakeholders should have enough information to make key decisions.


To summarise 

Data architects are some of the most essential members of any successful company. They take all the data that a company collects and organises it in a way that makes sense for reporting and analytics. This can be a daunting task, but it’s one that is absolutely necessary for making good decisions. A great data architect puts relevant data front and centre, allowing everyone else in the company to make informed choices.

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