Data Mesh TV: Better Business Results & Storytelling with The Data Whisperer

By: Adrian Estala
August 3, 2022

He is a superhero (Master Data), he is The Data Whisperer and he is a very funny guest. Scott Taylor joined us for episode 8 of Data Mesh TV.

We had a spirited exchange on our passion for data, on executive storytelling and he even shared some advice about selling shoes.

The golden rule of data is truth

Scott quoted the Data Whisper’s bible when he said, “Do unto your data as you would have it do unto you and you will get better results.” Scott believes that truth in data is absolutely critical, truth comes before data meaning. Before you begin to craft the message, before you start to create meaningful insight, you have to make sure that you are starting with trusted, quality data. If you don’t start with the truth, your message will be ineffective, and it will drive the wrong decisions.

How does Scott’s truth translate if you’re in the Data Mesh world? He would have made the fourth pillar of Data Mesh the first, he tells us. “It’s federated governance, it’s standardization, it’s interoperability, it’s unique identifiers, whatever you want to call that, it’s still determining that truth in data.”

Business success over buzzwords

Whether you’re team Data Fabric or team Data Mesh, when you’re selling the promise of a new technology trend, the focus should be selling the business results.

In other words, make data solutions easier for others to understand. As a community of data professionals, we need to do a better job or try to manage market standard definitions. Nobody really cares about fabric or mesh, your business teams certainly couldn’t care less what you call it. What we care about is capability, what we care about is implementation, and what we care about are business results.

But it’s imperative to know the audience you’re speaking to. Scott advises, “If I’m talking to analytics teams, I might use the word “mesh” because for an analytics team or a very specific consumption team, I can talk to them about data products. I can talk to them about domains. I can sell them on the concept of working autonomously within a domain, about working within a self service model, about building their own data products and sharing them.”

What’s even better is empowering your data consumers and going beyond telling your users what your data means. Data Mesh empowers your users with data products. You’re enabling them with self-discovery. You’re enabling them to not only understand what it is but enabling them to create new meaning with other data products.

Approach data as a business opportunity

Every enterprise has data opportunities including data problems and challenges that require some rehabilitation to leverage data in a way that’s advantageous to the organization. The good news is that with the right strategy and process, it’s not hard to solve. We need to approach all data with a business lens first, then we can figure out the technology. Data is an asset, technology is the pipeline.

Adrian Estala

VP, Data Mesh Consulting Services, Starburst

Adrian Estala is the VP of Starburst’s Data Mesh Consulting Services and the host of Data Mesh TV. With a background in leading Digital and IT Portfolio Transformations, he understands the value of creating executive frameworks that focus on material business outcomes. Skilled with getting the most out of data-driven investments, Adrian is your trusted adviser to navigating complex data environments and integrating a Data Mesh strategy in your organization.

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