If big bang centralization projects were the focus during the past decades, they’ve certainly brought a number of shortcomings to light. Most notably among these are: high cost, long projects, lack of flexibility, long adoption process, etc.
Approaches such as data fabric and data mesh are the talk of the town now. And for good reason! Both approaches, one technical and the other functional, put more responsibility for data closer to where it is produced and/or used, regardless of whether it is stored locally or centrally. Especially in a decentralized data storage concept, but even in a centralized one (as different data assets might have different purposes and owners), the architecture must be augmented with a layer allowing users to easily navigate the whole data inventory, regardless of how it is organized. This means providing an easy search functionality with meaningful augmentation. Kind of like how Google Maps lets users search for a location but then also allows them extra information on each result.
What’s new for enterprise software though – and very refreshing – is that all this is now possible without requiring fastidiously long training and change management (always the Achilles heel of corporate software projects). At dScribe, we’ve always tested our development against the “do I need a manual?” question. Especially for end-users, the software must be as intuitive as an iPhone app. Now, even for data stewards, we’re creating a self-service version of our solution. This will allow those ambitious to get their data assets organized but lacking budgets or bandwidth to start and then gradually grow into a more pervasive data catalog. No more need for months-long projects before seeing the first results; essentially one can be up and running in a matter of days and demonstrate rapid results in a live environment in order to prove the value to the business.
We’ve also taken away another major hurdle to adoption: user-based pricing. Everyone in the organization gets access. This can help grow support for the project, sometimes from unexpected pockets within the organization.
It may sound counter-intuitive but offering a collaborative platform where everyone can search and help document data can lead to fewer misinterpretations and better use of data and reports.
Author: Carl Fransman – Connect on LinkedIn