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Data Consulting

How to Define Data Architecture

Many businesses rely on data to help them identify challenges, recognize opportunities, and make effective decisions. But, raw data alone is not enough to drive business growth. In order to transform raw data into actionable insights, businesses need a data architecture that can actively leverage information assets for business value. Data architecture involves all the procedures and techniques used by businesses to utilize and optimize data, and should be at the foundation of any data strategy.

Data Architecture versus Data Modeling

Data architecture and data modeling are often used interchangeably but have different meanings.

In our blog post, Data Architecture Services: How to Make the Most of Your Data, we wrote that data architecture includes the policies, rules, and standards that govern the collection, storage, arrangement, integration, and use of data in organizations. A strong data architecture enables businesses to efficiently and ethically manage the data they collect, store and use. Some examples of what data architecture includes are cloud storage, data processing, encryption, hardware virtualization, hosting, and infrastructure.

Data modeling on the other hand, focuses on the representation, accuracy, and reliability of the data. A data model focuses on a limited set of business concepts and how they relate to each other, whereas a data architecture focuses on how a business handles data. Think of data architecture as the blueprint of a house, and data modeling as the instructions for installing the appliances.

Data Architecture

Data Modeling

Macro view Focused view
Solutions and Tools Entities and Rules
Infrastructure Business Concepts
Security Reliability

The Importance of Data Architecture

Having a data architecture is important for businesses in order to add value to processes and tread the path of growth. Although there are numerous reasons why data architecture is important, the following four are the most common.

Make Sense of Data

Data architecture provides businesses with a better understanding of their data. The insights gained help them make informed decisions based on actual stats ―rather than gut feelings, opinion or experience― to better plan for the future.

Improve Data Flow

Data architecture provides the necessary guidelines for managing data. This ensures that the right teams and stakeholders within a business can access the most recent and clean data available.

Create Structure for Managing Data

Data architecture provides a structure upon which to manage, develop, and implement data governance; the exercise of authority and control over the management of data assets.

Increase Data Security

Data architecture supports your business’ business intelligence services and data warehousing activities and helps with the enforcement of security and privacy of your data.

Four Benefits of Data Architecture Consulting

A solid data architecture is important, but where do you start? Building your data architecture doesn't have to be difficult―as a matter of fact, you can outsource this process to companies who have the expertise.

There are several benefits of outsourcing your data IT solutions:

  1. Expert Advice

    Companies that build professional data architectures have the knowledge and expertise to provide you with valuable recommendations on strategies, tools, and processes that will work best for your business.

  2. Industry Knowledge

    Data professionals are up-to-date on the latest trends and challenges in the data management industry. When outsourcing your data architecture, your business can make use of their industry knowledge and benefit from their industry relationships.

  3. Proven Leadership

    Although this doesn't apply to all businesses, there is often a disconnect between IT teams and other business functions. Departments don’t always approach business processes the same way or don’t share the same perspectives. It can be challenging for IT teams to deliver their advice and solutions to senior management. Hiring a third party can help bridge the gap between a company’s data experts and the executive team.

  4. Save Time and Costs

    By working with a consultant, you get access to a data specialist who has the required qualifications and experience. You won’t have to search for candidates, hold interviews, pay the costs of a full-time employee, or invest in technology equipment, which will save you both time and money.

    In short, businesses that don’t have experienced teams to set up the required systems and tools, will likely benefit from professional data integration consulting services.

    At Pixel506, we offer data architecture services to help our clients gain a competitive edge in the marketplace. Our data visualization services and business intelligence solutions have helped multiple organizations elevate their decision-making. We look forward to getting to know your business and working with you to craft the data analytics solution that works for you.

Key Takeaways

  • Data architecture involves all the procedures and techniques used by businesses to utilize and optimize data and should be at the foundation of any data strategy.
  • Data architecture is not the same as data modeling, which focuses on the representation, accuracy, and reliability of the data.
  • Data architecture is important because it helps businesses make sense of data, improves data flow, creates structure for managing data, and increases data security.
  • Benefits of data architecture consulting includes access to expert advice and industry knowledge, proven leadership, and it saves both time and costs.

About Pixel506

Pixel506 is a nearshore company that helps businesses collect, analyze and manage their data so that they can make effective business decisions. Our experts offer business consulting around four specific areas including strategy, technology. creative and digital marketing. If you want to extract meaningful insights from your data, we can help. Let’s discuss your data needs to see if we would be a good fit for you and your company.

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