Future-proof your data: Embrace Data Estate Modernisation for long-term growth

With data estate modernisation, your business is equipped to handle the ever-increasing volumes of data, enabling sustainable growth and adaptability to changing market trends.

Data Estate Modernisation provides a basis for increasing the value of data insights and capability within every organisation. With 5 billion people now accessing and using the internet, the challenges and opportunities presented by data continue to become ever more complicated. Increasing data volumes continue to move the goalposts, making effective management of your entire data estate and the ability to maximise the value of new technologies increasingly challenging.

Growing data volumes lead to more data to govern, manage and store – making it harder to access the data you need quickly. Adopting AI/ML capabilities and/or complying with new regulatory, security or reporting demands further complicates your data objectives. It is vital that your data estate supports and does not hinder your ability to take advantage of data insights and technologies. But how do we ensure that our data estate is updated to support your needs and fit for purpose!

What do we mean by Data Estate?

A data estate refers to the entire infrastructure that manages and uses data within an organisation. This includes infrastructure for data capture, data transfer, data storage and data utilisation. We are not just focused on the technology that is being used, but also how data is being governed & controlled - and by whom!

What do we mean by Modernisation?

When we talk about modernisation, we are not just referring to upgrades of the technology stack or migrating to a cloud solution, even if these are often parts of the solution. No, we need to include everything from simply cataloguing what exists, grading this data in terms of quality, reliability,  availability and ultimately describing what it is that the organisation would like to be able to do with their data.

Why does it matter?

Less than half (43%) of organisations believe that they can monetise their data and insight. Data, like any asset, only realises it’s true value if it is being used correctly and efficiently. This is only possible by fully assessing the data and understanding both the current and future business needs it can fulfil.

Estate modernisation can also enable costs to be driven down and supports an evolution towards ensuring that the right data is available, when needed. Conversely, if required data is difficult to find or access, this slows teams and the organisation’s innovation down. Only 38% of business users believe that their data strategy is aligned with their business strategy, and organisations are turning to estate modernisation as a key enabler to improve their Business IT alignment.

Where to start?

The first thing any organisation must do is determine the goals and objectives they would like to address. These goals and objectives should be aspirational in nature and not constrained by any limitations that may exist in the current data estate. They should be driven by business needs and should not be influenced by what is or is not possible.

What next?

Whilst only 39% of businesses being able to turn data-driven insights to competitive advantage, the need for data estate modernisation is clear. The most important first step is to catalogue the existing data estate so as to get a true understanding of how mature the existing structure is. For example, data can often be fragmented or siloed; governance, lineage and quality may be unclear; or critical data may not be readily available as an when needed.

Once the data is catalogued, a roadmap needs to be created to find a path to the aspirational future or to-be destination. Not everything will be achievable straight away, but the roadmap exercise will allow any organisation to identify quick wins and long-term changes. It is essential to keep your key stakeholders involved so that the organisation understands and embraces the required change and use a proven methodology to realise your vision.

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  • Shane Dempsey
    Shane Dempsey
    Senior BI Consultant at Sogeti Ireland