Data Management, Data Governance, like any other process and every component of the reality that surrounds us, is subject to changes and challenges, conditioned by both external and internal sources. It is not uncommon, for example, that a trend indicated some time ago, considered a leading or a key one, quickly loses its original attractiveness and becomes a kind of “empty shell”, giving way to other solutions, better suited to the current situation. And vice versa – a phenomenon or a tendency previously overlooked, suddenly turns out to be a new, vital element of the whole picture, shaping its current face.
So what is the current situation on the Data Governance market (the basis for the analysis will be the material by Robert Rudnicki (GE Bank), presented at the CDO Club meeting in December 2022)?
First of all, it should be remembered that the development of the DG field is equally conditioned by business, technological and regulatory considerations (or the sum of these aspects). Of many variables taken into account by leading consulting companies, the growing importance and redefinition of the role of the Chief Data Officer, i.e. the person responsible for data management, come to the fore. Forbes points to the growing need to employ CDOs in an independent position reporting directly to the management board. McKinsey & Co. stresses, in turn, that the role of a CDO is to create additional value for the company. Acquiring data and keeping it in proper order is just a way leading to appropriately accurate analytical and predictive decisions, ultimately translating into business success. Deloitte pays a lot of attention to the issue of CDOs – noting that the role of Chief Data Officer is moving from purely technological and operational to strategic (and moreover, 80% of CDOs do not define themselves from a technological point of view). It is also noted that the role of the CDO is still not defined in terms of its “typicity” and has many (too many) stakeholders within the organization; CDO teams are becoming stronger in numbers, but they still face challenges – one of the most important of which is insufficient awareness of the importance of data in the organization or “data literacy” in general. On the other hand, CDOs – today perceiving their roles mainly in technological and operational aspects (48%) – see themselves in the near future primarily as “strategists” and “catalysts” (87% in total). So the question is whether and how quickly such a perception of roles will also effectively reach corporate decision-makers?
In terms of current, short- and medium-term trends on the DG market, an interesting list was prepared by Gartner. In the diagram below, Gartner indicated five stages of the life cycle of a given solution or aspect of DG:
– innovation trigger
– peak of inflated expectations
– trough of disillusionment
– slope of enlightenment
– plateau of productivity
Projections of reaching the peak efficiency phase (less than 2 years, 2-5 years, 5-10 years, over 10 years) have also been assigned to individual solutions. Interestingly, some of them have already been declared “obsolete”. The most characteristic seems to be the concept of “Data Mesh”, which – although placed at the stage of “innovation trigger”, has been classified as “obsolete”. (“Data mesh” is a definition of a decentralized approach to data management – without end and headquarters; seemingly attractive, however, in the light of the previously mentioned indications of too many stakeholders in the organization and excessive dispersion of the data management process, it seems right to perceive such an approach as “outdated” already at the start). On the other hand, recently popularized, e.g. by IBM, the idea of “Data Fabric” – based on built-in data virtualization technology, connecting and centralizing distributed data sources, providing a virtual data access layer – is, according to Gartner, at the stage of descending from the ” peak of inflated expectations “, with the potential to reach ” plateau of productivity” in the perspective of 5-10 years.
Concluding – indicating current trends on the DG/DM market can be done from many perspectives. These perspectives, however, have in common the need to direct the data management process in such a way that it becomes more strategic than technological; that the CDO function gains its due status through direct reporting to the organization’s boards of directors; that each management and decision-making process is based on adequate data that can be verified in real time; and that this data reside in flexible, integrated, and accessible “containers.” However, it is debatable whether these “containers” will remain a freely distributed structure (“Data Mesh”) or an open structure, but controlled from a single point (“Data Fabric”).
Finally, it is worth to point at the innovative approach to comprehensive data management (and comprehensive data availability) presented by the European Gaia-X initiative, aimed at strengthening “European digital sovereignty”. For this purpose a strategy based on the so-called “Data Space Community” was proposed. As part of it, the flow of data between different sectors is to be, as far as possible, transparent and unified – but not by replacing the existing structures, systems and tools, but through open interfaces and standards, unifying this data and access to it by potential users operating in different environments and sectors. This is briefly presented in the diagram below – and we are going to talk about it in more detail in one of the next editions of our blog.
Read more about „Hype Cycle”: https://www.gartner.com/doc/reprints?id=1-2B6AXOGW&ct=220920&st=sb#cppdip.770817
Read more about „Data Mesh” and „Data Fabric”: https://www.datanami.com/2021/10/25/data-mesh-vs-data-fabric-understanding-the-differences/
Article prepared by: Tomasz Szmajter, Country Sales Manager – AZ Frame