The Stack Archive

Five signs your organisation is ready for DataOps

Fri 15 Apr 2016


Robin Webster.jpgRobin Webster, Director of Technology and Services at Centiq, offers five indicators that it is time for your business to embrace DataOps…

After years of pondering there might finally be a name for what business should be doing with their data processes, DataOps, the new way for IT to help enterprise deliver insights from their data. Although this is a new concept for businesses leaders to get their heads around, let alone allocate budget to, we cut our teeth showing how DataOps help them achieve their goals on a very practical level.

For business folks ‘vertically integrating’ processes is nothing new. The problem, which is also the opportunity, for DataOps is it attempts to take advantage of two very different IT skillsets and amalgamate them into one coherent concept, uniting DATA with OPerations.

On the “Data” side of the equation, several concepts and technologies need to be grasped to truly adopt DataOps. Firstly, the infrastructure technologies which help a business function in a digital world by harvesting, analysing and putting to work the data that is funnelled into and out of the organisation, need to be mastered.

Secondly, from an “Ops” viewpoint, it’s imperative to consider what adopting DataOps could mean for future data processing strategies of your business. Gaining tangible insight into how data affects your business applying that intelligence to build a stronger future version of your business is a good motivator. New products can be suggested, customer service improved and insight into purchaser behaviour can be used to suggest yet more ways to gain competitive advantage. Think about it.

For some, moving to DataOps model may not be timely, for others it will be overdue. Here are five signs we see as indicators it is time for your business to embrace DataOps:

1. Your data needs are scaling so fast you’re not sure your infrastructure can cope

The importance data plays in the business has evolved from a by-product to a necessity. This necessity now dictates how much data is collected and how it is used within the business. However, not being able to predict new needs is an issue. Big Data is placing added strain on the infrastructure of the modern enterprise. Platforms like SAP HANA, which are inherently scalable, means the strain doesn’t have to be as severe.

2. Meeting the business demands of data analysis is devastating your IT budget 

With business necessity dictating the intensive usage of data, analysing data has been become integral to how the business functions. Increased business demands calls for enterprises to invest in technologies and professionals to make sense of the data being collected. Often this is a new need with no current allocated budget.

3. Your IT team looks blankly when ‘Big Data’ is brought up

Big Data is now a commonly used term in Enterprise IT, so if the term elicits a surprised reaction from the IT team, it is time to adopt a strategy to boost knowledge in that area. Managing data collected from every part of the business requires an operations team who knows how to collect data from disparate sources, the best storage destination for data and how to work in conjunction with data scientists to make sense of it.

4. Refreshing or copying back data from production to test is an epic task

If you are developing a new data modelling structure, real-world data is needed for quality assurance. You can’t use live production data for testing but you do want to use as close to live data as possible. This makes it necessary frequently backup and copy back data to feed the development and QA systems leading to complex multi-layered data structures. This whole process can get bogged down and cause cost overruns and complexity issues. If this is happening to you, it might be time to adopt a DataOps approach to ensure all data sources are optimised, operations data stays live, snapshots guide development as required without affecting the all-important productions systems.

5. You hire a new ‘DataOps’ believer

When you hire a DataOps ‘believer’, chances are they will endeavour to convince the non-believers this new strategy will change their world. From speeding up time-to-value to gaining better insight, the benefits will be preached and the time will be now for your business to adopt DataOps, before you lose your competitive advantage.


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