We have completed several episodes of Data Mesh TV talking to experts about different approaches to managing their data transformation programs. We’ve also met with change management professionals and technology leaders. In this episode, we focus on the strategic transformation elements in our discussion with Uday Hegde, the CEO at USEReady.
I was impressed by Uday and the consumer focused approach that is at the heart of USEReady’s Migrate, Optimize, Modernize(MOM) philosophy. When I think about designing and maturing a data mesh or building an enterprise data platform, my focus is always on making sure that I am simplifying the consumer’s use of data.
In this blog, Uday and I will cover some of the key topics we discussed on Episode 14 of Data Mesh TV, which you can watch here. This was a fun show with Uday, he is a self-described “failed agriculturalist” who became a successful data strategist.
The MOM Framework
Uday begins the session describing how many of his customers are in heavily regulated industries. He says, “Everybody needs mom, but CDOs, they really need MOM.” The USEReady approach defines ‘migrate’, ‘optimize’, and ‘modernize’ in three phases:
Every organization is dealing with migration, at some level. Just when you think you are done, you turn around and there is another source that needs to be moved. Does migration ever end? On the business side, the disruption and frustration is greater than anything the IT teams are dealing with. Rebuilding applications or dashboards everytime data is moved, forces the business teams to sacrifice new innovative projects so that they can maintain or fix existing solutions.
Uday explains that, if he moves his house as many times as many of us migrate data, that his wife wouldn’t be very happy. USEReady has built a concept around MigratorIQ. This concept helps customers plan and validate before they begin their migration. Using proprietary calculations, they work with their customers to help them define the right approach. USEReady’s goal is to help their customers reduce their legacy footprint by up to 60%. The key here is maximizing cloud automation, making the right decisions for how to migrate, and to ascertain that we can fully exploit cloud capabilities.
USEReady employs a framework they call OptimIQ. Once they shrink the legacy footprint, they turn their focus on the end user. Uday describes two dimensions, starting with looking at self-service capabilities on the user domain side. On the data engineering side, they look at how to deliver this service in a cost effective way. The goal is to build data products that are optimized for cost efficiency and that are designed in a way that drives user adoption. Data product design should be optimized to align with the business value that they create. USEReady has built a set of specific monitors to help their customers create a Data Product IQ, an approach to ensure a positive ROI. Uday also mentioned the importance of culture, “Data Mesh needs to be very carefully stitched to the culture of an organization, otherwise, it has a very high chance of failure.”
I have seen organizations with hundreds of data products that were not built with the agility and cost efficiency that is required to drive sustainable value. When you are building data products, you have to think about how long it takes to build them and how long it takes to change them. Many data consumers see the most value in the ability to quickly ideate through new ideas, to adapt data products that they can use to create competitive insight. The ability to reuse, build new and invent fast is an incredible capability. Starburst Data Products offer you these advantages, because we minimize data movement and enable self-service capabilities to iterate rapidly through new data products while your consumer is still in the room.
Without the last M, all you have is MO. You need to modernize to help your consumers take advantage of the capabilities that you have created through your ‘migrate’ and ‘optimize’ activities. Even if you have data where you need it and you are building optimized data products, it isn’t enough. The data needs to be adopted and trusted.
USEReady has a framework called DecisionIQ to help their customers modernize how they can drive their insight and intelligence through data, regardless of where it sits. They acknowledge that insight needs to be driven from modern data sources and from legacy systems, and that the data needs to come together to drive decisions.
Uday noted how AI can be used to overcome the challenges and problems that we, humans, create with data. In an ideal world, if all data were produced and managed by AI, we would have no data quality issues.
As we’re all part of the data mesh community, we’re encouraged to share our ideas and examples to help each other grow. Data products do provide a competitive advantage, and it’s understandable that some organizations may choose to keep their “leading” examples internal. If you would like some additional ideas, work with your favorite Data Mesh consultant or reach out to Starburst and we can share our own ideas in a data product design workshop.
Transforming to enable agile analytics
Join Brett Thebault, Co-Founder at Aginic for the next episode of Data Mesh TV