The value of DataOps – transforming critical data into prized insights

15th March 2022BlogJames Cherry

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Data dictates our every decision

Every business decision we make normally relies on quality data and insights for us to be able to confidently make that judgement.  However, we live in a world where we are inundated by data and too much information, or not the right information in real-time, can be as detrimental as not enough information. 

To this point, a recent Gartner survey shows how data professionals spend their working time:

  • More than half (56%) spend their time on data management activities.
  • Only 22% of their time drives innovation with enhanced analytical insights.

Driving innovation with enhanced data insights

Today more data is flooding into enterprises from more sources than ever before, putting significant pressure on data analytics teams. And these and other recent statistics show that this issue is only set to continue as the velocity of data grows, with experts saying we create about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data per day.  Insights from this data are key to not only transforming the business and delivering competitive advantage but also helping to reduce operational risk.

But resource-stretched data analytics teams, who may already be spread thin across multiple departments, are struggling to keep up. Additionally, across departments there is little consistency or uniform ways of reporting and often a variety of different tools are in place to deliver insight to business users. Likewise, users aren’t always able to articulate precisely what they want.  This means that new reports or dashboards, which have taken the data analytics team long development cycles to produce, may not deliver the value users are expecting.

image of man holding pen and tablet whilst looking inquisitively at laptop screen

The cloud makes managing data even harder

Robust data management is also a problem. As it becomes ever easier to spin up new systems in the cloud, the number of different data models tends to sprawl in an uncontrolled way. Integrating data into analytics pipelines requires significant manual fixes and workarounds, lowering data quality over time and limiting the ability to deliver innovation to users.

Put simply, there is a gulf between opportunities and capabilities when it comes to data analytics—at a time when most business users are desperate for faster insights.  

This is where DataOps can really help.

DataOps practises increase the speed, quality, accuracy and repeatability of data

DataOps introduces methodologies and best practices designed to maximise the speed, quality, accuracy, and repeatability of analytics.  A set of practices, processes and technologies, DataOps combines an integrated and process-oriented perspective on data with automation and agile development methods to improve not only quality and speed but collaboration by promoting a culture of continuous improvement in data analytics.

Recognising that data pipelines are already too complex for unstructured, manual management approaches, DataOps builds in automation from the ground up, creating the concept of a highly automated “factory” for transforming raw data into actionable insights. As in a modern manufacturing plant, DataOps uses statistical process control to provide real-time monitoring of the quality of data and processes.

DataOps can really help to yield dramatic improvements in quality and cycle times. Click To Tweet

Giving organisations time to rethink their data strategies

This means that organisations who successfully adopt DataOps enjoy faster and more flexible access to data-derived insights, at a lower cost. In fact, the rapidly growing concept of DataOps balances time so that organisations can rethink their data management practices and pipeline. Additionally, DataOps brings a new set of tools and skills to help organisations manage data throughout its lifecycle, ensuring a smooth, fast, and reliable journey from source to value.

A good DataOps strategy enables organisations to:

  • improve data quality and reduce development cycle times for analytics
  • reduce the cost and complexity of managing data pipelines
  • automate processes that improve accuracy and repeatability
  • develop new analytical models faster and therefore meet emerging business requirements

Furthermore, DataOps brings the organisation closer together across departments and functions. A great deal of data analytics development occurs in silos as business units use self-service tools like Tableau or Excel. These local teams, engaged in decentralised, distributed analytics creation, play an essential role in delivering innovation to users. Empowering these pockets of creativity maintains the enterprise’s competitiveness, but without top-down control can lead to unmanaged chaos.

Centralising analytics development under the control of one group, such as IT, enables the organisation to standardise metrics, control data quality, enforce data security and governance, and eliminate islands of data. The issue is that too much centralisation chokes creativity. Another important benefit of DataOps is the ability to harmonise the tension between both centralised and decentralised development of data analytics.

Embedding a DataOps culture into daily operations

Here at Northdoor, we have a wealth of technical expertise and over thirty plus years of experience in solving some of the most challenging data issues.  Not only do we help our customers get up to speed with DataOps practices, but we also enable them to embed a DataOps culture into their daily operations.

In summary, a DataOps platform enables data professionals to achieve the goal of simplifying all the tools, steps and processes they need into an easy-to-use, configurable end-to-end system.    This high degree of automation eliminates a great deal of manual work, freeing up the team to create new and innovative analytics that maximise the value of the organisation’s data.

Ultimately, failure to optimise data pipelines can lead to a distinct lack of competitive advantage.  In our modern highly digitised world data is king and DataOps enables organisations to manage data throughout its entire lifecycle, ensuring that it is optimised and valuable from day one.

Looking for support with your DataOps strategy implementation? Get in touch with us today to benefit from Northdoor’s expert DataOps services and support.

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