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Modernizing Your Data Team and Its Best Practices

Modernizing Your Data Team and Its Best Practices

As you modernize your tools and platforms for data management to keep pace with evolving business requirements, take time to modernize your data team.

Being “modern” is important for both business and IT.

Change is rampant in many areas of our lives due to the pandemic, economic fluctuations, evolving political leadership, and new directions for social norms. To adapt to change and to leverage change for business advantage, many enterprises are modernizing their business model, operations, processes, customer relations, and strategic plans. As a consequence, every aspect of IT is also modernizing, from IT infrastructure and operational applications to leading-edge data management and analytics.

In a parallel trend, many new state-of-the-art IT tools, platforms, and best practices have arrived in recent years, and they are fortuitously available for adoption by evolving businesses that seek not merely to survive but to adapt, compete, and thrive.

To support new business directions, data management technology needs to be modern.

A digital enterprise will accelerate the speed and efficiency of operational and analytic tasks so it operates in real time or close to it. IT systems and business processes cannot achieve these business goals without real-time information. This further intensifies the urgency of modern data management.

As another example, the list of new sources of valuable data increases almost daily, as businesses modernize their operational applications by adopting new ones built in the software-as-a-service (SaaS) architecture. Similarly, firms involved with the Internet of Things (IoT) regularly incorporate more data from new sensors and machinery. In turn, these new sources of operational data can provide data for new forms of analytics, and a truly modern digital enterprise is eager to get greater value from data via advanced analytics.

Finally, to handle the diversity of new data sources and advanced analytics, many firms are deploying more data platforms — both old and new types, both on premises and in the cloud.

Put together all these new sources, targets, and use cases and you can see that capturing and leveraging today’s data is not possible for the digital enterprise without a modern and comprehensive data management infrastructure plus a modern data team that has the skills to create today’s solutions.

Modernize your data team and best practices as you modernize data management.

The modernization of data management can take many forms, but it regularly involves upgrades and replacements of platforms and tools. In fact, modernization via “replatforming” — where one data platform is replaced or complemented by another — has garnered considerable attention in the IT press in recent years. However, handling today’s data successfully also requires improvements to the teams that build and maintain solutions for data handling. In fact, TDWI sees many organizations actively modernizing teams that are wholly or partially responsible for data-driven solutions such as teams for data management, data warehousing, data integration, reporting, analytics, and operational data.

A modern data team has many characteristics and relationships. Given the growing amount of data work in enterprises, it is common for midsize and large organizations to have multiple data teams. Each team may report to central IT or to a business unit (e.g., finance, marketing, operations). In addition, many data teams have “dotted line” relationships with multiple departments across an organizational chart. Because of these diverse situations, data teams can be overseen by a variety of managers, including a CDO, IT director, BI director, data architect, or line-of-business manager.

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