But, before we get there, here’s a little refresher’s course on data fabric and its benefits.
What is data fabric?
Data fabric in simple terms is an integrated data architecture that combines multiple data management tools to optimize the process of decision-making, and hence, the performance of a company. It aims to automatize the process of data collection and interpretation in a bid to minimize human error.
What are the benefits of a data fabric system?
Some of the key advantages of a data fabric are listed below. They are:
- Automation of data collection is at the core of a data fabric. The advantages to this are twofold- firstly, minimal human intervention ensures lesser inaccuracies while tabulating data, and secondly, data scientists are freed from the mundane tasks of translating data into informative charts.
- Efficient data pipelines lead to more responsive decision-making that ultimately translates to better financial returns for the company and its stakeholders.
- Data fabric provides valuable insights into every little segment of the business, and thus enables companies to evaluate each of their performances. Firms today have the rare opportunity to address issues and nip them in the bud right away.
- With their newfound ability to communicate better, data scientists and other IT professionals find it easier to collaborate. They end up working towards the common goal of contributing to the betterment of the company.
What to consider when picking a data vendor for your company?
There are a number of data vendors out there who are more or less offering identical services. So, how do you sift through them and pick the right one for your company? What are all the things that you need to be considering before making that critical decision?
1) A comprehensive data catalogues
This is a must-have for any data fabric system as a comprehensive data catalogue is needed to keep track of a large number of data sets. Furthermore, the platform should also be able to handle the responsibility of mapping out the supply chains based on the information obtained.
2) State-of-the-art data engineering
Companies should look out for this feature when they’re trying to find a prospective data fabric vendor. Sophisticated data engineering forms the core of a data fabric and is integral in the creation of data pipelines.
3) Reliable data governance
Yet another key capability of data fabric vendors is to provide a platform that is extremely safe and secure. The possibility of a data breach should be minimized, ensuring the utmost privacy at every step along the way.
4) Systematic data preparation
Data preparation refers to a set of technologies that serve to execute complex data transformations and integrations required in the process of creating a data pipeline. They serve an important function and are a necessity to actualize the dream of a comprehensive data fabric system.
5) Efficient data integration services
At the heart of data fabric is the ability to combine disparate sources of information from a variety of platforms into a single deliverable that can be distributed across to the target. This process is termed data integration and is a non-negotiable when it comes to picking a data vendor.
While these are some of the prerequisites of a quality data fabric system, there are a couple of other things that businesses often forget to account for. They include:
- Customer base- Try to get an idea of the key customers that your data vendor services. This will give you an understanding of whether their attention is focused on larger enterprises or smaller businesses. It might be hard for them to modify their practices and you’ll find it difficult to get your concerns addressed in the future. If you run an overseas business, it’s highly imperative to determine if the vendor currently operates in your country or not.
- Cost of deployment- A data fabric vendor might have the best platform on the market, but there’s no point if their cost of deployment is higher than the money you’ve set apart for it. So, try to factor in the cost of deployment when looking for a prospective vendor.
- Time required for deployment of services- Most businesses forget to take this into consideration and find it harder to negotiate with vendors later. So, try to understand your needs first and how early you’d want the integration of services to happen and start looking at data vendors accordingly.
Data fabric has all the potential to replace the traditional systems of data processing. Having a data vendor who understands your needs and demands is critical to reaping the benefits of integrating an advanced tool like a data fabric into your business. So, a fair amount of research is necessary to determine the right vendor for you. Other than the key capabilities like data preparation tools and a secure platform, factors like cost of operations and time for deployment will also have to be considered.